DeSantis says Florida will expand pro-life protections after Supreme Court ruling

Meanwhile, abortion rights advocates have used the Supreme Court ruling to highlight their ongoing struggle against strict abortion laws and an upcoming state court hearing on Monday aimed at blocking Florida’s recent ban on abortions after 15 weeks. The law does not make exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking.

“We will not stand idly by while our freedoms are stripped in this way — we will not stop fighting for our rights,” said Stephanie Frame, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.

The conflicting views of the Supreme Court’s ruling assert that the struggle over reproductive rights will continue long after the 1973 reversal. Raw vs. Wade The decision, especially in Florida, the third most populous state that has veered to Republicans in recent years.

Florida’s 15-week ban on abortions, which was modeled after the Mississippi law upheld by the Supreme Court on Friday, is currently being challenged in state court. Lawyers from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida sued state officials to stop the ban from taking effect on July 1, arguing that it violates the right to privacy broadly written in the state constitution.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU will argue before a Lyon County Circuit Court judge on Monday to temporarily halt the start of the ban for 15 weeks until the trial is complete. On Friday, Frame pledged to preserve the state’s abortion rights in the court case.

More than 4,800 people from outside Florida received abortions in the Sunshine state last year, a number that increased after neighboring Alabama imposed stricter restrictions in 2019.

The ruling also revitalized the anti-abortion group Florida Voice for the Unborn to call for lawmakers to convene a special session this year to enact a complete statewide abortion ban. The group’s founder and director, Andrew Sherville, called on DeSantis to bypass an ongoing legal challenge in state circuit court and convene a legislative session to ban abortion entirely instead.

“Now is the time for Governor DeSantis and the legislature to act so that a complete legal embargo is in place while any litigation in state courts is commenced,” Scherville wrote in a statement Friday.

Florida Democrats have long warned that a Republican-led campaign to ban all abortions in Florida is imminent. Ventris Driskill, the leader of the Democratic nominations in the House, said in a statement that Friday’s decision gives Republicans a road map to restrict abortions in Florida.

“Today’s decision endorses the extreme and dangerous legislation that the state government has stumbled upon by Republicans and paves the way for a complete ban on all abortions in our state, with no exceptions for rape or incest,” Driskill said.

House Speaker Chris Sprouls (R-Palm Harbor) said Friday that the state should focus on defending the 15-week suspended ban, which the House approved in February.

“Our attention should now turn to the state courts and the Florida Supreme Court as they assess HB 5 and determine its constitutionality here — an additional hurdle that exists in our state,” Sprouls said.

Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trlby) praised the Supreme Court, saying the ruling would help increase adoption as an alternative to abortion. Simpson was adopted as a child.

“Florida is a state that values ​​life,” Simpson wrote in a statement.

Sprouls and Simpson will lose their leadership roles due to period constraints after the November elections, and the two Republicans who will replace them on Friday have stopped announcing plans for next year’s legislative session. Incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) wrote that the legislature had already approved many other abortion restrictions during her years in the legislature. She also paid tribute to the five judges who supported the majority opinion that he formulated Ro As a barrier for states to make decisions that are protected by the constitution.

“These defenders of the Constitution have given the states the right to do what is right,” said Bassidomo. “Here in Florida, we will continue to advocate for life.”

House-designate Paul Rayner (R-Palm Coast) said the resolution brings the abortion debate back to the state, where he said it belongs.

“The Florida legislature has made great strides toward protecting fetuses and will continue to follow legislation that respects the sanctity of life,” Rayner said.

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