Gov. Ron DeSantis promises expansion of Florida’s laws restricting abortion access

Florida’s new law, banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, set to take effect July 1

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis praised the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade Friday, promising he would now work to expand the state’s restrictions on abortion access to protect unborn children.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis praised the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade Friday, promising he would now work to expand the state’s restrictions on abortion access.

“The prayers of millions have been answered,” DeSantis said in a statement. “For nearly fifty years, the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited virtually any meaningful pro-life protection, but this was not grounded in the text, history or structure of the constitution.”

The Supreme Court’s decision comes as part of the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was a challenge to Mississippi’s law which banned abortions after 15 weeks.

The majority opinion was penned by Justice Samuel Alito, with Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett joining. Chief Justice Roberts concurs with the ruling, but also said he would have upheld the Mississippi law at the center of this case without necessarily overturning Roe.

Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sototmayor and Stephen Breyer are joined in the dissent.

[TRENDING: Development chances increase for tropical wave in Atlantic | Shipley Do-Nuts plans 1st Central Florida location. Here’s when, where you can find it | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“By properly interpreting the Constitution, the Dobbs majority has restored the people’s role in our republic and a sense of hope that every life counts,” the governor’s statement reads.

Florida’s new law, which will ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, is set to take effect on July 1. However, that law faces two lawsuits challenging it.

“Florida will continue to defend its recently-enacted pro-life reforms against state court challenges, will work to expand pro-life protections, and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care and child welfare,” DeSantis’ statement reads.

The first lawsuit against the state’s new abortion law was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood. This suit challenges the law on the basis that it violates Florida’s state constitution, specifically the right to privacy ensconced therein.

The Florida Supreme Court first ruled on the issue in October 1989 in the case of a law requiring teenage girls to get a parent’s consent before having an abortion.

According to a Washington Post article at the time, the opinion handed down by the court, in a 6-to-1 decision, cited a 1980 amendment to the state constitution providing that “every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into (their) private life” in its ruling.

The second lawsuit comes from a synagogue, Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor of Boynton Beach.

This suit contends that Florida’s 15-week ban on abortions violates Jewish teachings, which state abortion “is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman” and for other reasons.

“As such, the act prohibits Jewish women from practicing their faith free of government intrusion and this violates their privacy rights and religious freedom,” the lawsuit, filed in Leon County Circuit Court, said.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.