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Florida: Six-week abortion ban to take effect

April 1, 2024

Abortion after 15 weeks was already banned in Florida, with the state's top court ruling that it was constitutional in response to a lawsuit. That paves the way for a six-week ban to take effect within 30 days.

File picture of an abortion rights protesters in Miami from 2022
The Florida Supreme Court's decision paves the way for a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancyImage: Marco Bello/REUTERS

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday upheld a ruling that triggers a six-week ban on abortion in the state.

The case centered around the constitutionality of a 15-week ban on most abortions that was signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in 2022.

The ban had been enforced while it was challenged in court, and the justices ruled on Monday that the 15-week ban was constitutional.

Stricter abortion ban now weeks away

The lawsuit challenging the ban was brought by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and others.

The decision now greenlights a subsequent law that was enacted last year to allow a six-week ban on abortions. 

Most abortions are obtained before the 15-week mark, so the current ban does not affect most people seeking abortion.

But a six-week ban would likely have a major impact on women seeking abortions in Florida and throughout the South.

Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, most Republican-controlled states have adopted bans or restrictions on abortions. Every ban has faced a court challenge.

Abortion rights increase globally — with exceptions

Florida court also rules on abortion rights amendment

The Florida Supreme Court also ruled on Monday that a proposed measure to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution — also known as "Amendment 4" — can go before voters in November.

This would give voters an opportunity to remove restrictions and restore abortion rights.

At least 60% of the voters in Florida would need to approve the amendment — sponsored by a campaign called Floridians Protecting Freedom — for it to pass.

"We are thrilled Floridians will have the opportunity to reclaim their bodily autonomy and freedom from government interference by voting for Amendment 4 this November," campaign director Lauren Brenzel said.

kb/rm (Reuters, AP)