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Judge Temporarily Blocks Florida's 15-Week Abortion Ban

A judge in Florida declared the state's 15-week abortion ban unconstitutional and said he will temporarily block the law, nearly a week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Axios reports. The law, effective in April, was scheduled to take effect on Friday. Leon County Judge John Cooper said he would not sign the order on Friday, meaning that the law could be enforced for a brief period. The measure has no exceptions for rape or incest and allows abortions past 15 weeks only in cases of a medical emergency or if there's a "fatal fetal abnormality." Abortions must also be reported to the state, along with information on why the procedure was provided. Abortion providers filed a lawsuit against state office saying the law violates the Florida Constitution.

It's currently legal in Florida to get an abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Cooper said the new law is unconstitutional because it violates the privacy provision of the state's constitution and "does not meet the standard" of the Florida Supreme Court rulings that protect abortion rights in the state. "Florida passed into its constitution an explicit right of privacy that is not contained in the U.S. Constitution. 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,'" the judge said. Overall, the state's argument to enforce the law was not "legally sufficient to justify the statutory ban," Cooper said, calling the abortion providers' witnesses "more credible" than those brought by the state.


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