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Judicial Trends Judicial Trends in Public HealthReproductive Liberties and Care Access

Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, et al. v. State of Florida, et al.


(Supreme Court of Florida April 1, 2024): The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that a state statute banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation did not violate the Florida Constitution’s Privacy Clause that provides “the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into . . . private life.” Long-standing decisions by the Court finding abortion protections in the Privacy Clause were based on the same analysis that had been used in Roe v. Wade, overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs. The Florida Court overturned its precedent, abiding to the same analysis used in Dobbs to overturn Roe and finding that the previous decisions failed to give proper deference to the state legislature. Having established no constitutional right to abortion, the Court upheld the 15-week ban largely on the grounds that state legislation is entitled to the presumption of constitutionality. Although the case concerned the 15-week ban, the decision eliminating the state constitutional right to abortion triggered a new law imposing a 6-week ban. On the same day the Court upheld the abortion ban, the Court approved placing a question on the November 2024 ballot called the “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion,” that would limit the power of the legislature to restrict abortion access. Florida requires a 60% favorable vote to amend the Constitution. Read the full Planned Parenthood Opinion here. Read the ballot question Advisory Opinion here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – May 14, 2024.

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