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Florida Supreme Court Hears Argument in 15-week Abortion Ban Challenge

Abortion Document Near Judges Hammer / Gavel

Photo: hidesy / iStock / Getty Images

In a case that could have a dramatic impact on women’s reproductive rights, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday heard arguments in a constitutional challenge to a 2022 state law that prevented abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.  

The court’s ruling in the case, which could take months, also will affect a law passed this year that would bar abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.  

Much of Friday’s arguments centered on whether justices should overturn decades of legal precedent that said a privacy clause in the state Constitution protects abortion rights.  

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include seven abortion clinics and a doctor who performs abortions.  

Their attorney, Whitney White, argues that the law, known as House Bill Five, violates fundamental rights and subjects women to serious health risks.  

“HB 5 would force providers to deny and delay care to patients, in ways that are antithetical to quality patient care.”

Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody, who attended the arguments, says she supports the law. 

“Life at 15 weeks can feel pain. This is something that we didn’t know until more recently. So, arguments like that and information like that shows why lawmakers should have the ability to, on behalf of the people, decide how they can protect that or should they protect that.”

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the 15-week abortion restriction shortly before a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.  

That ruling let states decide on abortion laws. 

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