Breaking: Florida’s Supreme Court Upholds State Abortion Limits, Paving Way for Six-Week Ban

Florida’s supreme court ruled Monday that the state’s constitution does not affirmatively protect a right to an abortion, upholding a 15-week ban on the practice in the Sunshine State.

The ruling clarifies a provision in the state’s constitution on the right to privacy, which voters added in 1980 and pro-choice groups have used to argue that the document protects access to abortion. While the ruling most immediately dealt with a 15-week ban that took effect in 2022, it has implications for a six-week version — with exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies, and medical emergencies — that Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed in April 2023. That bill included language allowing the law to take effect only if the supreme court approved the 15-week ban, given that the legal arguments involved in the 15-week case would also apply to the stricter ban.

The court decided another abortion-related matter Monday, ruling that a proposed amendment to explicitly write the right to abortion in the state’s constitution may appear on the ballot this November. The amendment, if added to the constitution, would hold that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.” A 60-percent supermajority is needed in order to add the amendment.

Also, on Monday, the court ruled that another ballot measure — this one to legalize recreational marijuana in the state — may appear on the ballot on Election Day. DeSantis said in a recent press conference that, while he expected the court to approve of the recreational-marijuana referendum, he was concerned about broad language and the prospect of the smoke’s odor becoming overpowering.

“I’ve gone to some of these cities that have had this everywhere, it smells, there’s all these things,” he said. “I don’t want to be able to go walk in front of shops and have this. I don’t want every hotel to really smell.”



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Florida's Supreme Court Upholds State Abortion Limits, Paving Way for Six-Week Ban

The court also ruled that the issue of abortion may appear on the ballots this November, alongside a referendum on ... READ MORE


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