Florida Supreme Court hears arguments in major abortion case
Florida's Supreme Court on Friday heard arguments in a case on the constitutionality of a law limiting abortion access in the state.
- The justices declined to immediately block the bill while the lawsuit proceeds, leaving the ban in place for now.
Context: A person's ability to get an abortion in Florida is protected by a state Supreme Court precedent that found that a person's right to privacy allows them to get an abortion, per the Center for Reproductive Rights.
- In states where abortion rights are protected under court precedent and where there is an anti-abortion majority of lawmakers and politicians, lawsuits could be brought to challenge these decisions.
The big picture: Unless the court blocks the 15-week ban, a separate six-week abortion ban signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in April will go into effect 30 days after the court issues its decision.
- The six-week ban is one of the nation's strictest bans on abortions and would limit access before most women know they are pregnant.
Of note: Florida's law does not include exceptions for rape or incest and only allows abortions past 15 weeks in cases of a medical emergency or if there's a "fatal fetal abnormality."
- Abortions must also be reported to the state, along with information on why the procedure was provided.
Catch up quick: There have been several lower court rulings on the 15-week ban in Florida.
- Prior to the 15-week ban taking effect, abortion in Florida was legal up until the 24th week of pregnancy.
Where it stands: The court has not yet made a ruling in the case.
- Meanwhile, a Florida abortion ballot initiative hit the threshold of signatures needed to trigger a state Supreme Court review of the ballot question's language, Axios' Yacob Reyes reports.
- The ballot question could be one of the few avenues advocates have of restoring access to the procedure.