Florida Supreme Court to hear challenge of 15 week abortion law

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The Florida Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up the legal challenge surrounding the state’s law protecting preborn children from abortion after 15 weeks gestation, and declined to block the law while it is under review.

Since it was first due to take effect in July 2022, the law has been the focus of a back-and-forth legal battle after it was challenged by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, which claim that abortion is protected as a constitutional right. In August, an appeals court threw out an injunction that had placed the law on hold, thereby allowing it to take effect.

“While we are pleased that the court didn’t shut its doors completely, we are dismayed that it has allowed this dangerous ban to remain in effect and to harm real people each and every day until this case is finally decided,” said Whitney White, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “We hope that the court acts quickly and follows 40 years of precedent and the will of the people to stop this unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban, which has caused chaos and devastation in the state since going into effect in July.”

Though the law protects preborn children from abortion after 15 weeks, it still permits abortions throughout the entirety of the first trimester.

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By 15 weeks gestation (13 weeks post-fertilization), a preborn child can stretch, sigh, and open her mouth. Her teeth are growing, and she can bend her hips and her knees. There are taste buds all over her mouth, and her bones are beginning to harden. Her heart has been beating since about 21 days after fertilization and her brain activity began at about eight weeks gestation (six weeks post-fertilization).

Despite White’s claim, there is little evidence that the current law is causing chaos and devastation. Data from the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration from 2021, the year before the law went into effect, revealed that the vast majority of the state’s 79,817 abortions were committed in the first trimester.

Though the state’s 15-week law protects some children, all deserve the chance to be born.

Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 moms and dads with the truth about abortion this year? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.

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