BREAKING: No Right to Abortion in FL Constitution

Apr 2, 2024

Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court agreed with our brief that there is no right to an abortion in the Florida Constitution. For 35 years I have worked to overturn the 1989 In Re T.W. opinion, the ruling that turned the Sunshine State into an abortion destination state, more liberal on child killing than even Roe v. Wade. Thanks to YOUR generous support, Liberty Counsel was able to overturn that dreadful precedent. This decision now upholds the 15-week abortion ban, and the new six-week heartbeat abortion law.

But an upcoming Planned parenthood ballot initiative may undo the work we just accomplished. Read on. — Mat

Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court issued groundbreaking opinion that upholds the state’s 15-week abortion ban and overrules the prior abortion opinions going back to the first abortion decision in 1989 — the In re T.W. case. In doing so, the Court ruled there is no right to abortion in the Florida Constitution. Now that the 15-week ban has been upheld, the six-week ban, commonly known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” will soon go into effect.

Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief to the Florida Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida v. State of Florida 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.”

Liberty Counsel Action also filed an amicus brief in the same case arguing that the Court should overrule the 1989 In re T.W. case that ruled that the privacy amendment in Article I, Section 23, provided a right to abortion. That decision and subsequent abortion decisions have now been overruled.

In 1989, an activist Florida Supreme Court ruled in T.W. that the state Constitution’s “Privacy Clause guaranteed the right to receive an abortion through the end of the second trimester.”

Planned Parenthood had argued that T.W. invalidated the 15-week law. Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court agreed with our argument, stating “we conclude there is no basis under the Privacy Clause to invalidate the statute.”

In doing so, the Court overturned the dreadful In re T.W. decision. As a result, both the 15-week and six-week abortion bans will now go into effect, and the lives of countless children will be saved.

But Planned Parenthood’s abortion ballot initiative could undo everything we’ve done. I’ll explain how in a moment.

Regarding this historic ruling, the Court wrote: “The Privacy Clause of the Florida Constitution does not mention abortion or include a word or phrase that clearly incorporates it.”

Indeed, “abortion does not naturally fit within the rights at issue. Reliable historical sources, like the technical meaning of the terms contained in the provision, the origin of the amendment, and the framing of the public debate, similarly do not support a conclusion that abortion should be read into the provision’s text,” the Court continued.

Considering the historical context of the constitutional amendment, “we cannot conclude that in 1980 a voter would have assumed the text encompassed a polarizing definition of privacy that included broad protections for abortion.”

“Based on our analysis finding no clear right to abortion embodied within the Privacy Clause, Planned Parenthood cannot overcome the presumption of constitutionality and is unable to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the 15-week ban is unconstitutional.” (emphasis added)

Even before Liberty Counsel was founded in 1989, I have worked to overturn the T.W. decision because it did not have any basis in the Florida Constitution and has caused incalculable damage. Today, the wrongly decided abortion opinions are no more. The Constitution wins. Life wins ... for the next seven months at least.

That’s because a Planned Parenthood-backed ballot initiative seeks to have abortion specifically enshrined in the Florida Constitution as a “right” regardless of the “privacy” issue. At the same time this blockbuster decision was released, the same Court, in a 4-3 decision, also released an opinion allowing the deceptive abortion initiative to go forward.

The ballot initiative is so vague, and so broad that it would eliminate any and all restrictions on abortion up to birth. Not even health and safety regulations will survive if this extreme abortion initiative is passed.

Liberty Counsel will tirelessly work to defeat Planned Parenthood’s life-ending ballot initiative, but we need YOUR help.

After 35 years, we won a huge victory yesterday. Florida will no longer be an abortion destination. But all that hard work could be erased in November if this extreme abortion initiative is passed. Planned Parenthood will spend tens and tens of millions of dollars to deceive the people.


A special Challenge Grant has been established that will DOUBLE the impact of every donation made today.

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel



In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Congress needs to hear from you regarding HR 15 — a bill that would federally overturn the 2003 partial birth abortion ban and enshrine abortion up until birth as a federally protected “right.” Fax Congress NOW to protect Americans from HR 15, the misnamed “Equality Act,” and don’t forget to sign the petition!