Florida Supreme Court Sets Stage for Historic Abortion Rights Vote

After previously enforcing a six-week abortion ban based on the Florida State Constitution, the Florida Supreme Court has just made a ruling that will allow Floridians to vote on the state’s availability of abortions directly.

A Pivotal Decision

The Florida Supreme Court just made a pivotal decision for women’s access to abortion by approving the language for an abortion rights amendment to be included in the ballot for an upcoming election. Abortion rights activists and Democrats are viewing this as a major victory from challenging restrictive abortion laws after lengthy debates regarding abortion access throughout the state.

One organization celebrating the new court ruling is the Floridians Protecting Freedom (FPF) campaign, which brings allied organizations and citizens together in order to protect women’s abortion rights in Florida.

The FPF’s campaign director and former Planned Parenthood employee, Lauren Brenzel, celebrated the decision to let Floridians vote for abortion access and rights.

Reclaim Bodily Autonomy

Brenzel said, “We are thrilled that Floridians will have the opportunity to reclaim their bodily autonomy and to gain freedom from this government interference by voting yes on Amendment 4 this November.” 

Brenzel then went on to say, “No longer will decisions about abortion be left between politicians disconnected from the realities of everyday Floridians’ lives.”

In a closely related court ruling, the court also upheld Florida’s 15-week abortion ban on the grounds that the State Constitution’s privacy protections do not explicitly extend to abortion rights. 

Writing for the majority in upholding the six-week ban, Justice Jamie R. Grosshans wrote, “Based on our analysis finding no clear right to abortion embodied within the Privacy Clause, Planned Parenthood cannot overcome the presumption of  constitutionality and is unable to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the 15-week ban is unconstitutional.” 

This new decision on the 15-week abortion ban will now allow Florida to enforce a six-week abortion ban and significantly limit women’s access to abortion.

By enforcing a ban on abortions that take place six weeks after the woman becomes pregnant, a huge percentage of women will lose the option to have an abortion since most women don’t find out they are pregnant until well past six weeks.

DeSantis’ Signature

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the six-week abortion ban into law as part of a broader international movement to restrict the access and availability of abortions.

On the six-week abortion ban, Lauren Brenzel also said, “This is the largest single loss of care that we’ve seen since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and we can’t fully understand what the impact will be.”

With this new ban, Florida has aligned itself with several other states, taking on some of the most stringent abortion laws in the country. Previously, Florida was actually a refuge for women in other states looking for access to abortion, but with the six-week ban, it has shifted to one of the most difficult states for women looking to have an abortion.

Before the six-week ban took place, Florida actually saw a huge increase in abortions across the state, highlighting the state’s previous status as a hub for women looking to have abortions from other states.

Voter’s Choice

However, the Florida Supreme Court’s approval of the ballot measure for November will give voters the ability to influence the state’s abortion laws and potentially expand abortion access.

If Florida voters pass the initiative on the ballot, it would protect women’s access to abortions until the point of viability at 24 weeks and directly challenge the current and impending restrictions on abortion access in Florida.

Public opinion polls taken throughout Florida suggest that the majority of Floridians support legal abortion in most cases, with bipartisan support for the new amendment on the ballot.

However, in a statement calling on Governor DeSantis to oppose the abortion rights amendment, SBA State Policy Director Katie Daniel showed unwavering support for the increased restrictions. Daniel said, “As Florida faces what may be its biggest ballot fight yet, Gov. Ron DeSantis must be at the forefront of protecting Florida from Big Abortion’s attempt to eliminate the rights of unborn children, parents, women, and girls.”

The post Florida Supreme Court Sets Stage for Historic Abortion Rights Vote first appeared on Swift Feed.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rena Schild.

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