Abortion rights supporters, meanwhile, used the Supreme Court ruling to underscore their continued fight against strict abortion laws and an upcoming hearing in state court on Monday that seeks to block Florida’s recently approved abortion ban after 15 weeks. The law does not grant exceptions for victims of rape, incest or human trafficking.
“We’re not going to sit idly by while our freedoms are stripped away like this – we won’t stop fighting for our rights,” said Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central. Florida.
Opposing views on Supreme Court ruling underscore fight for reproductive rights will continue long after 1973 law is struck down Roe vs. Wade decision, especially in Florida, the third most populous state which has had a more Republican leaning in recent years.
Florida’s 15-week abortion ban, which is modeled after Mississippi law upheld by the Supreme Court on Friday, is currently being challenged in state court. Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida have sued state officials to stop the ban from taking effect July 1, arguing it violates a widely written right to privacy. in the state constitution.
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU will plead before a Leon County Circuit Court judge on Monday to temporarily suspend the rollout of the 15-week ban until the end of the trial. Fraim pledged Friday to preserve access to abortion in the state with the lawsuit pending.
More than 4,800 people from outside Florida had abortions in the Sunshine State last year, a number that rose after neighboring Alabama enacted tougher restrictions in 2019.
The ruling also reinvigorated the anti-abortion group Florida Voice for the Unborn to call on lawmakers to hold a special session this year to enact a comprehensive statewide abortion ban. The group’s founder and director, Andrew Shirvell, called on DeSantis to sidestep the pending legal challenge in state circuit court and hold a legislative session to completely ban abortion instead.
“It is NOW time for Governor DeSantis and the Legislature to act so that a comprehensive legal ban is in place while any litigation in state courts unfolds,” Shirvell wrote in a statement Friday.
Florida Democrats have long warned that a Republican-led push to ban all abortions in Florida is imminent. Democratic House Leader-elect Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) said in a statement that Friday’s decision gives Republicans a roadmap to further restrict abortions in Florida.
“Today’s decision ratifies sweeping and dangerous legislation pushed through the state government by Republicans and paves the way for a complete ban on all abortions in our state, with no exceptions for rape or incest,” said said Driskell.
House Speaker Chris Sprows (R-Palm Harbor) said Friday the state should focus on defending the impending 15-week ban, which the House approved in February.
“Our attention must now turn to the state courts and the Florida Supreme Court as they assess HB 5 and determine its constitutionality here — an additional hurdle present in our state,” Sprows said.
Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) praised the High Court, saying the ruling will help increase adoptions as an alternative to abortion. Simpson was adopted as a child.
“Florida is a state that values life,” Simpson wrote in a statement.
Sprows and Simpson will lose their leadership roles due to term limits after the November election, and the two Republicans who will replace them on Friday paused before announcing plans for next year’s legislative session. Incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) wrote that the legislature had already approved several other abortion restrictions during her years in the legislature. She also commended the five judges who supported the majority opinion, which framed deer as an obstacle for states to make decisions that are constitutionally protected.
“These defenders of the Constitution have given states the right to do what is right,” Passidomo said. “Here in Florida, we will continue to defend life.”
House Speaker-elect Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) said the ruling returned the abortion debate to the state, where he said it belonged.
“The Florida Legislature has made significant progress in protecting unborn children and will continue to pursue legislation that honors the sanctity of life,” Renner said.