‘This ban goes way beyond abortion:’ Florida groups say new law not about life but control

ACLU plans to challenge the new law under Florida’s constitution

Organizations in favor of abortion rights are speaking out after Governor Ron DeSantis signed the controversial legislation into law.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Organizations in favor of abortion rights are speaking out after Governor Ron DeSantis signed the controversial legislation into law.

Currently under Florida law abortions are allowed up to 24 weeks but as of July 1, it will be 15 weeks.

“This ban goes way beyond abortion, you know it’s really about who has power over you and me and who has the authority to make decisions about our health care,” said Stephanie Fraim, CEO and president for the SW and Central Florida Planned Parenthood region. “We’re not seeing the governor or the people in Tallahassee put forth programs that would support a stronger, healthier childhood, right? There’s no affordable childcare, there’s no safe communities. They don’t even expand Medicaid where people would have access to the birth control they need.”

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Conservatives nationwide have moved to place new restrictions on abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court signaled it may uphold a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. It’s a decision that could potentially overturn the Roe v. Wade 1973 decision that established a nationwide right to abortion.

“They’re getting all of their state laws set up so that if the court does rule that Roe v. Wade is no longer constitutional, these laws will go immediately into effect and basically unchallenged,” said Jamie Manson, president of Catholics for Choice.

“A 15-week ban on abortion, this kind of extreme law is unconstitutional under both the U.S. Constitution and Florida state Constitution, which includes specific protection for Floridians’ most personal decisions. including the decision to end a pregnancy,” said Julia Kaye, attorney with ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

The new law has some exceptions. The abortion can be performed to save a mother’s life, to prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality, but not in the case of victims of rape, incest or human trafficking.

“There is no protection for people who are raped, people who are victims of incest, and people who are human trafficked, can you imagine being victim of human trafficking and being forced to give birth. How is that a Christian value?” Manson said, adding that the majority of Catholics are pro-abortion. “The PEW study says that 68% of Catholics do not want to see Roe v Wade struck down, and 56% think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Ultimately what it comes down to is forcing a woman to give birth against their will.”

The attorney for the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project told News 6 that they plan on challenging the new abortion ban law in court.

“Right now, in this state we have a right to privacy in our state constitution, that actually does protect this right. This 15-week ban is unconstitutional based on our state constitution,” Kaye said.

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.