- The State of Florida filed an appeal against the ruling of Leon County Judge John Cooper, who deemed the state’s new 15-week abortion ban unconstitutional
- With the appeal, the law is back in effect and able to be enforced
- Plaintiffs will attempt to overturn the stay and halt the law’s upholding again
The State of Florida confirmed that it is appealing the ruling of Leon County Judge John Cooper, who last week deemed the state’s restriction on abortions after 15 weeks to be “unconstitutional” and announced he would temporarily overturn the statute.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 5 (HB 5) into law in April, restricting abortion after the 15th week of pregnancy, an effective ban on late-term abortions in the state. Cooper claimed that the measure is unconstitutional because it violates the state constitution’s privacy clause and “does not satisfy the standard” of judgments by the Florida Supreme Court that uphold the state’s legal right to abortion. Cooper’s ruling is predicated on an excerpt of the state constitution that contains a worded right to privacy, though the passage does not explicitly mention abortion.
“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.”
Florida on Tuesday issued an appeal against the decision, meaning that the 15-week abortion ban is now back in effect. Florida was expected to immediately file an appeal after HB 5 had gone into effect Friday before being blocked.
“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.”
Opponents of the bill claim that the Florida Constitution offers protection to abortion rights in an excerpt of Article I, Section 23, which states: “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life except as otherwise provided herein.” Cooper cited the same passage in his ruling that the state Constitution “contains a worded right to privacy.”
Cooper ultimately claimed that the bill is unconstitutional because it violates the state constitution’s privacy clause and “does not satisfy the standard” of judgments by the Florida Supreme Court that “uphold the state’s legal right to abortion.”
Following the appeal, plaintiffs stated that they would attempt to overturn the automatic stay in an attempt to put the new law on hold again.