Florida Supreme Court rejects request to halt state’s 15-week abortion ban

The Florida Supreme Court denied a request to temporarily halt a 15-week abortion ban signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in April 2022.

“House Bill 5 protects babies in the womb who have beating hearts, who can move, who can taste, who can see, and who can feel pain,” the Republican governor said at the signing. “Life is a sacred gift worthy of our protection, and I am proud to sign this great piece of legislation which represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history.”

Monday’s 4-1 decision came one day after Vice President Kamala Harris came to Florida to hold a rally in support of the right to kill unborn babies, with the state’s highest court ruling on a challenge from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, the American Civil Liberties Union and other abortion providers, who claim abortion is protected by the Florida Constitution.

The court accepted a request to hear arguments against the law but kept the 15-week ban in place — a circuit judge issued a temporary injunction back in July, citing a 1989 Florida Supreme Court ruling that said the right to privacy as prescribed in the state’s constitution protects an abortion.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office had previously urged the Supreme Court to reject the motion for a stay, according to WPTV.

“Florida’s Privacy Clause creates a right ‘to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life,’” the office said in a filing. “That language is naturally read to limit governmental snooping and information-gathering — but not to establish a liberty to destroy unborn (or any other) life.”

“While we are pleased that the court didn’t shut its doors completely, we are dismayed that it has allowed this dangerous ban to remain in effect and to harm real people each and every day until this case is finally decided,” Whitney White, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said, according to the NBC affiliate. “We hope that the court acts quickly and follows 40 years of precedent and the will of the people to stop this unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban, which has caused chaos and devastation in the state since going into effect in July.”

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

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