Ron DeSantis vows to appeal abortion ban ruling to state supreme court: will ‘withstand all legal challenges’

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced his intention to appeal a court ruling that would block abortions after 15 weeks. 

The Florida legislature passed the law, known has House Bill 5, and DeSantis signed it in April. The law bans most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy unless the health of the mother is threatened or unless the baby has a “fatal fetal abnormality,” according to the Washington Post. 

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper announced that he would issue a temporary injunction against the state abortion ban, calling it “unconstitutional.” The judge did not draw on last week’s Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, but instead referenced from the state constitution’s language regarding privacy. 

“I’m not here to litigate abortion,” Cooper said. “I’m here to litigate the right to privacy in Florida. I’m not here to litigate Roe v. Wade.” 

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Current law allows abortions in Florida up to 24 weeks and afterwards in cases of health challenges, rape or incest. 

Plaintiffs, comprised of abortion providers in the state, argued that “abortion is a fundamental right deserving of the strongest protection against government intrusion.” 

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DeSantis spokesperson Bryan Griffin told the Tampa Bay Times that the administration believed that the governor will appeal the decision up to the Supreme Court and that the law would “withstand all legal challenges.” 

“The Florida Supreme Court previously misinterpreted Florida’s right to privacy as including a right to an abortion, and we reject this interpretation,” Griffin said. “The Florida Constitution does not include – and has never included – a right to kill an innocent unborn child.”

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The law is set to go into effect at midnight on Friday, and Cooper said the temporary block would not start until he signed an order to do so, noting that it would not happen “immediately.” 

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