Florida Supreme Court’s abortion ban ruling endangers the health of pregnant Floridians

April 2, 2024

April 2, 2024

TALLAHASSEE – Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court reversed course on decades of precedent and ruled that our state constitution’s right to privacy no longer applies to abortion. This ruling means the six-week abortion ban will go into effect in thirty days. Until then, abortion will remain legal in Florida up to 15 weeks.

The Floridians for Reproductive Freedom coalition joins with many others throughout the state in denouncing this dangerous and unjust ruling. Florida has the second highest number of people seeking abortion care in the country. This ruling and the subsequent six-week ban will have catastrophic effects on reproductive freedom and the Floridians seeking abortion care without interference from politicians.

Many people do not know they are pregnant at six weeks, meaning a six-week ban is effectively a near total ban on abortion in Florida. The closest state where Floridians will be able to access abortion services will now be North Carolina for care up to twelve weeks and Virginia for care later than that.

Voters will have a chance to engage in direct democracy to stop this unpopular and harmful abortion ban. Amendment 4, a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution, will limit government interference in abortion care, and will appear on the November General Election ballot. Voters are urged to vote Yes on Amendment 4.

Florida health care and civic leaders respond:

“Until this week, the right to privacy, guaranteed under the state constitution, gave Floridians the right to control our own bodies,” said Juanica Fernandes, Executive Director of State Voices Florida. “Now people suffering ectopic pregnancies or other medical conditions must wonder if they can get the medical treatment they need.”

“The Florida Supreme Court’s ruling allowing the abortion ban to stand is disastrous for our patients, for our state, and abortion access,” stated Kelly Flynn, President/CEO of A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville.“Our mission at A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville, for the last 22 years, has been to ensure bodily autonomy for Floridians by providing our patients with access to compassionate, non-judgmental abortion care. We will continue to provide care for our patients and have patient navigators to provide support and resources to patients forced to travel out of state to access care.” 

“There shouldn’t be laws that affect a doctor’s ability to safely practice medicine. This is a dangerous precedent to set, especially in a country where the morbidity and mortality rates during pregnancy are already higher than most. This law ignores the life of the pregnant individual whom the entirety of the risk of pregnancy falls on,” said Dr. Joanna Bedell, an OBGYN in Miami, FL

“This is essentially a full ban on abortion, and it will have a horrific, disproportionate impact on Black and brown Floridians, low-income families, and those living in rural areas who need to access abortion care,” said Jeri B. Cohen, Board Chair of the Women’s Emergency Network.

“Florida abortion clinics and abortion funds will continue providing care, resources, and practical support, including travel, lodging, and childcare; visit FloridaReproFreedom.org to find out where to get help,” stated Amy Weintraub, Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida. “And, more and more Floridians are getting information about all their options, including abortion pills by mail, at ChatWithCharley.org and from Plan C’s website.” 

“Polling has repeatedly shown that the majority of Floridians want abortion to remain legal, sparking the Yes on 4 ballot amendment campaign to limit government interference with abortion,” said May Thach, Florida Organizing Manager for National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. “This amendment is the best path forward to restore abortion access to the 4 million people of reproductive age in Florida. Floridians across the state are pledging to vote Yes on 4, signing up for vote-by-mail, and organizing to put power back in the hands of the people where it belongs.”

Contact: Amy Weintraub, amy@progressflorida.org, 304-541-9027

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