Florida’s 15-Week Abortion Ban Set to Go Before State Supreme Court

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By Associated Press

January 25, 2023

The court said it will hear the case, which has been part of a legal fight since the law took effect last July.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy will be allowed to stand until a hearing before the state Supreme Court.

The court said late Monday it will hear the case, which has been part of a legal fight since the law took effect last July.

The law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks (House Bill 5), with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life, prevent serious injury, or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. It does not allow exemptions in cases of rape, incest or human trafficking.

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Violators could face up to five years in prison. Physicians and other medical professionals could lose their licenses and face administrative fines of $10,000 for each violation.

A Strong Response

Some local lawmakers expressed disappointment that the ban will remain in effect as the case is being decided. That is because although the ACLU and Planned Parenthood were successful in having their lawsuit heard before the Florida Supreme Court, their motion to temporarily block the existing anti-abortion legislation failed.

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“It’s incredibly disappointing that a law that’s been deemed unconstitutional by a local judge continues to be enforced while litigation proceeds,” Florida Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani said.

The bill that was passed during the 2022 legislative year provoked a strong response from pro-choice advocates for offering no exceptions that would allow women to obtain an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, even in the case of rape or incest.

Court to Make a Decision

“We hope that the court acts quickly and follows 40 years of precedent and the will of the people to stop this unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban, which has caused chaos and devastation in the state since going into effect in July,” Whitney White, a staff attorney for the ACLU wrote in an official statement released Monday.

At the time, a date for oral arguments has not been set. It could likely be months before the court ultimately makes a decision.

Additional reporting by Giselle Balido





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