FL Supreme Court Hears 15-Week Abortion Ban Tomorrow

Sep 7, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, et al., v. State of Florida, et al., regarding the 15-week abortion ban which prohibits all abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. 

The oral arguments will be livestreamed beginning at 9 a.m.ET. 

On April 14, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 5, known as the “Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act,” to protect the lives of Florida’s most vulnerable by prohibiting all abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. Florida Planned Parenthood affiliates and a group of independent reproductive health providers sued the state on June 1, 2022. The complaint alleges that the 15-week ban violates a right to privacy within the Florida Constitution.

Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief to the state’s High Court on behalf of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Fiona Jackson Center for Pregnancy, and Issues4life Foundation, in defense of  Florida’s 15-week abortion ban since the Florida Constitution affirms “the right to enjoy and defend life” regardless of “race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.”   

In addition, Liberty Counsel Action filed an amicus brief to the Florida Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, et al., v. State of Florida, et al., requesting that the In re T.W. decision issued by an activist court in 1989 be overturned and the original intent of Article I, Section 23 be restored so as not to recognize a right to kill preborn children by abortion. Before the Florida Supreme Court is a 15-week abortion ban passed by the legislature in 2022. Like the 15-week abortion ban that went to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Florida case could follow a similar result. 

If the state’s High Court rules in favor of the 15-week ban, then the “Heartbeat Protection Act,” which protects unborn children in Florida beyond six weeks of pregnancy, will go into effect. On April 13, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 300 into law but it has not gone into effect due to the ongoing legal challenge to the existing 15-week ban. 

The “Heartbeat Protection Act” will take effect 30 days after the Florida Supreme Court either holds that the right to privacy enshrined in Article I, Section 23 of the State Constitution does not include a right to abortion; upholds the 15-week abortion ban signed into law by DeSantis in April 2022; or if the Court overturns the state abortion case precedent in the In re T.W. decision. 

Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Tragically, after the Roe and Casey abortion decisions were overturned, Florida has become a sanctuary for abortion. Now the Florida Supreme Court must establish this as a state that values unborn life according to the state Constitution.”           

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