What does Supreme Court draft opinion mean for Florida? Political expert weighs in

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a measure that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, takes effect in July

As people grapple with the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, there is a question of what Florida will do with abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Supreme Court has confirmed the authenticity of a draft opinion that suggests the Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. 

News 6 asked a political expert to weigh in on the document and what it means for Florida’s future.

“I was surprised because leaks from the Supreme Court are extremely rare,” said Jim Clark, a senior lecturer at the University of Central Florida and News 6 political expert.

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Clark said if the court rules the way the draft opinion goes, then each state will make its own law.

“Florida has already passed an abortion bill, but it’s a very lenient bill,” Clark said.

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a measure that bans most abortions after 15 weeks and does not include any exceptions for cases of incest or rape.

“It says that you can have an abortion up until 15 weeks. In this state 80% of the abortions are within that period,” Clark said. “What’s going to be interesting is if Gov. DeSantis wants the legislature to come in and they’re pressured to pass a more stern measure, maybe limiting it to one or two weeks or not at all.”

The governor spoke about the leaked draft opinion while at an event in Fort Meyers Tuesday and the challenges the new Florida law could face on the state level.

“We also will be challenged under the Florida Constitution and statutes. We think we’re gonna win there, but that is something we’re gonna have to do,” Desantis said.

Florida’s new abortion law is set to go into effect on July 1. The Supreme Court’s final opinion is expected next month.

About the Author:

Catherine, born and raised in Central Florida, joined News 6 in April 2022.