Florida’s 15-week abortion ban reaches State Supreme Court

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

The challenge to Florida’s 15-week abortion ban has reached the State Supreme Court in Tallahassee.

The abortion ban grants exceptions for abortions if the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s life and if the fetus has a fatal anomaly but not for rape or incest.

The American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion rights groups, want Florida’s high court to throw out the state’s ban on abortion at 15 weeks.

Justices heard from lawyers for both sides of the topic, Whitney White from the ACLU and Henry Whittaker, representing the State of Florida, Friday.

“Freedom from government interference meant a number of things,” said White, “but it also included a freedom from government interference with deeply personal and private decisions that affect one’s health, one’s family, one’s future, and abortion falls squarely within that protection.”

“Abortion is one of the most controversial issues in our society today,” said Whittaker, “and there also was a debate about the privacy clause, and it is unimaginable, given that controversy that it would have included abortion given the near absence of references in the public debate.”

The Supreme Court has not said when it might issue a ruling. But if the justices uphold the 15-week ban on abortion, state lawmakers have already passed a 6-week ban that would take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court rules.

Many woman say they might not even know they’re pregnant at six weeks.

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