Home UK News Florida court OKs abortion ban, referendum to reverse it

Florida court OKs abortion ban, referendum to reverse it


What happened

The conservative Florida Supreme Court ruled 6-1 Monday that contrary to decades of rulings, the Florida Constitution’s right to privacy does not prohibit limits on abortion. The ruling allows a six-week abortion ban, passed last year, to take effect May 1. The court simultaneously ruled 4-3 that a ballot measure prohibiting restrictions on abortion until about 24 weeks can go before voters in November.

Who said what

The six-week ban, with exceptions for rape, incest and fetal abnormalities, “is a compromise that addresses where I think many Floridians are,” state House Speaker Paul Renner (R) said. Allowing this “extreme” law to take effect “demonstrates how precarious our personal freedoms are in the state,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani (D). 

The commentary

The dual decisions “will all but eliminate abortion access in the South” and “ensure that abortion is a major issue in Florida during the presidential election,” likely boosting Democratic turnout, The Washington Post said. 

What next?

The referendum to enshrine abortion rights in Florida’s Constitution needs 60% support to pass. “Early polling has shown that more than 60% of Floridians support the amendment,” The Wall Street Journal said.

The state Supreme Court upheld the six-week abortion ban, but a proposed amendment will appear on the November ballot