Florida's 15-week abortion restriction that went into law July 1, despite a judge ruling the law "unconstitutional," was permitted to stay under a state appeal Tuesday.
Leon County Judge John Cooper briefly blocked the abortion restriction Tuesday morning, signing a restraining order, Axios reported, but an immediate appeal by the state allowed the restriction to stick for now, Spectrum News-9 reported.
Florida House Bill 5 allows abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy only in the case of medical emergency or a "fatal fetal abnormality." The law also requires mandatory reporting to the state on abortions provided, along with the reason for them.
The case before Cooper was brought by abortion providers who argued the restriction violated the Florida Constitution, which permits abortion up the 24th week of pregnancy. Cooper ruled the law "unconstitutional" on the grounds it violates the state's constitution privacy law and "does not meet the standard" of the Florida Supreme Court rulings that protect abortion rights in the state, according to Axios.
"Florida passed into its constitution an explicit right of privacy that is not contained in the U.S. Constitution," Cooper wrote, Axios reported. "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.'
"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.
"Further, the Florida Supreme Court has found 'if a legislative act imposes a significant restriction on a woman's right to seek an abortion, the act must further a compelling state interest through the least intrusive means ... here, the act effectively bans with extremely limited exceptions pre-viable abortions previously permitted under Florida law."
Cooper's ruling added the providers' witnesses were "more credible" than those of the state, and the state's argument was not "legally sufficient to justify the statutory ban," Axios reported.
The 15-week abortion restriction will remain in effect during legal proceedings on the appeal.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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