In April, pro-life legislation was signed into law in Florida protecting preborn babies at 15 weeks gestation. Now the abortion industry is challenging this pro-life law set to go into effect on July 1.
The new pro-life measure is modeled after the Mississippi law protecting preborn babies in the womb at 15 weeks gestation. The Mississippi law is the source of the United States Supreme Court controversy over the so-called “constitutional right” to abortion.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the 15-week abortion restriction into law in mid-April – just a few weeks before the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked to the press.
The pro-life measure, HB 5, limits abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, while including exceptions for the life of the mother and fatal fetal abnormalities.
At the time of the signing, Governor DeSantis said the legislation represented “the most significant protections for life that have been enacted in [Florida] in a generation.”
Previously, Florida law permitted abortion through 24 weeks gestation.
Now, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Center for Reproductive Rights have filed a complaint with a Florida circuit court to challenge the law.
Abortion advocacy groups argue that the legislation violates Florida’s constitutional privacy clause, which was interpreted to include access to abortion by the State Supreme Court in 1989. These groups are seeking an injunction to keep the measure from going into effect on July 1.
According to Politico, “Florida is one of 11 states whose state constitutions and courts have put in place abortion rights independent of the U.S. Constitution.”
However, the make-up of the Florida Supreme Court has changed since 1989, when abortion access was found in the state constitution. The Court now leans more conservative and could very well revisit the privacy provision in the state constitution and determine that it does not include abortion access.
The Attorney General’s office in Florida says they are “reviewing the complaint and are prepared to defend the law.”
The Governor’s office told Politico that it is “confident the 15-week ban law will ultimately withstand all legal challenges.”
It is imperative that pro-life friends remain on alert and stay engaged as strong pro-life laws spread across the nation. Legal challenges mounting in Florida will surely be replicated by abortion advocates in other states, especially if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court.
With only three more weeks to go before the end of the Supreme Court term, a decision in the Dobbs case could come at any time.
Be fervent in prayer, friends, as we wait with anticipation and hope that Roe may be overturned in our lifetimes.
Photo from CNN.