Florida Supreme Court upholds 15-week ban on most abortions

(Chasity Maynard/Associated Press)

The Florida Supreme Court upholds the 15-week ban on most abortions



April 1, 2024

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant, while also giving voters the chance to lift restrictions in November and, in most cases, extend abortion rights to recover.

The court that was reformed by former presidential candidate and Republican governor. Ron DeSantis voted 6-1 to uphold the state’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, meaning a six-week ban could soon go into effect. But in a separate ruling, the court allowed a ballot measure on abortion rights to go to voters.

Most abortions are performed before the 15-week mark, so the current ban will not affect most people seeking abortions. But a six-week ban would likely have a major impact on women seeking abortions in Florida and across the South.

DeSantis, who signed the 15-week ban in 2022, appointed five of the court’s seven judges.

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The lawsuit against the ban was filed by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and others. They argued that the Florida Constitution’s unique privacy clause has explicitly protected the right to abortion in the state for more than four decades and should remain in effect.

However, state lawyers said that when the privacy clause was passed in the 1980 voter referendum, few people understood that it would include abortion. They told the justices that the clause was primarily intended to cover information privacy, such as personal data, and not to cover abortion.

Since the US Supreme Court Roe v


. Wade by June 2022, most Republican-controlled states have passed bans or restrictions on abortion. Each ban has faced a lawsuit.

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A survey of abortion providers commissioned by the Society of Family Planning, which advocates for abortion access, found that Florida had the second-largest increase in the total number of abortions since Roe v.


. Wade was knocked down. The state’s data shows that more than 7,700 women from other states had an abortion in Florida in 2023.

The neighboring or nearby states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are among the fourteen states that now ban abortion during pregnancy, with limited exceptions. Georgia and South Carolina ban this once heart activity can be detected, which is typically considered about six weeks of pregnancy.

Brendan Farrington writes for the Associated Press. AP writers Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, NJ; Terry Spencer in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Fla.; Curt Anderson in St. Petersburg, Florida; and David Fischer in Miami contributed to this report.


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