- Florida’s law restricting abortions at 15 weeks will remain in effect after the state filed an appeal Tuesday
- The stay comes after Leon County Judge John Cooper deemed the state’s restriction on abortions after 15 weeks to be “unconstitutional”
- Democrats Lauren Book, Charlie Crist and others weighed in on today’s appeal
- HB 5, which prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, was signed into law in April
Florida Democrats are weighing in on the state’s 15-week abortion limit being reinstated after the state filed an appeal Tuesday.
Florida’s 15-week abortion law (HB 5), which was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in April, met a roadblock last Thursday after Leon County Judge John Cooper deemed the state’s restriction on abortions after 15 weeks to be “unconstitutional.” Cooper followed through with his verbal ruling on Tuesday, officially stalling the controversial law.
“Florida passed into its constitution an explicit right of privacy that is not contained in the U.S. Constitution,” Cooper said. “The Florida Supreme Court has determined in its words ‘Florida’s privacy provision is clearly implicated in a woman’s decision on whether or not to continue her pregnancy,” Cooper said. “In other words, on the issue of abortion, the Florida Supreme Court has decided that women have a privacy right under the state constitution to not have that right impacted up to 24 weeks at least.”
But that decision was short-lived, and the injunction was quickly put on hold after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed an appeal, triggering an automatic stay under Florida state law.
“Notice is hereby given that all Defendants … appeal the court’s order entering a temporary injunction and all related rulings,” the notice of appeal reads. “Pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure, the filing of this notice results in an automatic stay of the court’s order, and the challenged law is now in effect.”
News of the law going back into effect soon spread across political circles, with many Democratic lawmakers and leaders sounding off on the appeal.
Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book immediately went on the offensive, urging Floridians to use their voices this election and cast their vote for “pro-choice Democratic candidates.”
“Judge Cooper’s injunction to protect a woman’s access to healthcare lasted less than an hour before the state filed its draconian appeal. There is a battle waging in Florida and across the country to fleece citizens’ freedoms under archaic, conservatively stacked Constitutional interpretations,” Book said on Twitter. “This battle is not just in the courts, but in the voting booths. It is critical for every single eligible voter to exercise that right and create a tidal wave of support for pro-choice Democratic candidates this November — because radical Republicans will not stop until abortions are fully banned and women are left without the freedom to control their own bodies.”
Charlie Crist swiftly followed suit, promising to protect women’s rights if he’s elected governor.
“The day after I’m elected governor, we’ll start gathering signatures for a constitutional amendment to eliminate any doubt that abortions will stay legal in Florida. We did it with medical marijuana and the minimum wage and we’ll do it again to protect your reproductive freedom,” Crist added.
HB 5 prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
There is a lot of legal back and forth on FL’s 15 week abortion ban.
📢📣Here is the latest:
A judge ruled HB 5 unconstitutional & signed a temporary injunction. The State already filed their notice to appeal, so the injunction has been lifted. HB 5 IS in effect.
— Florida Planned Parenthood Action (@FAPPA) July 5, 2022