MIAMI — In a welcome but likely brief victory for supporters of abortion rights, a judge in Florida blocked a state law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy on Thursday, the latest in a flurry of activity in state courts and legislatures following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Florida law, scheduled to take effect on Friday, violates privacy protections in the State Constitution, ruled Judge John C. Cooper of the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Tallahassee, handing a defeat to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who enacted the restrictions in April.
But in a complication emblematic of the chaotic past week of legal and legislative action in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, the temporary statewide injunction Judge Cooper issued from the bench will not be binding until he signs a written order. The delay will leave Florida’s 15-week ban in place for a short time — perhaps a few days, because of the Fourth of July holiday — until the paperwork is completed.
a refuge for women seeking the procedure from across Southeastern states with tighter restrictions. More than 79,000 abortions were performed in Florida last year.
are playing out in other states, where various plaintiffs are arguing that their own state constitutions provide specific protections for abortion. On Thursday, a judge in Kentucky temporarily blocked an abortion ban that was triggered by the Supreme Court’s decision. That law, passed in 2019, called for a near total ban on the procedure and had already led clinics to turn patients away.
As in Florida, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that Kentucky’s Constitution protects the right to an abortion. Ultimately, however, the court fight in Kentucky could be short-lived. In November, voters there will consider a measure establishing that there is no state constitutional right to abortion.