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Florida quickly appeals judge’s ruling that HB5 is unconstitutional, law automatically goes back into effect

by | Jul 5, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

A flurry of action this first day after the 4th of July.

In Florida, no sooner did Judge John C. Cooper issue an order temporarily halting HB 5, the law which bans abortions after 15 weeks, than the state appealed his order, automatically putting the law back into effect.

Judge Cooper made the oral ruling from the bench last week and signed the order on Tuesday. He said Florida’s law was “unconstitutional in that it violates the privacy provision of the Florida Constitution.”  Judge Cooper added, “If the United States Supreme Court were to subsequently recede from Roe v. Wade this would not diminish the abortion rights now provided by the privacy amendment of the Florida constitution.”

But, as he said he would, pro-life Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis immediately appealed the ruling.

“While we are disappointed with today’s ruling, we know that the pro-life HB 5 will ultimately withstand all legal challenges,” the governor said in a statement. “The Florida Supreme Court previously misinterpreted Florida’s right to privacy as including a right to an abortion, and we reject this interpretation. The Florida Constitution does not include-and has never included-a right to kill an innocent unborn child. We will appeal today’s ruling and ask the Florida Supreme Court to reverse its existing precedent regarding Florida’s right to privacy. The struggle for life is not over.” 

Meanwhile, in Mississippi , Chancery Judge Debbra K. Halford did not indicate how she would rule this morning after hearing a request from the state’s lone abortion clinic to block a 2019 state law from taking effect. That law prevents abortions after the 6th week. The six-week abortion ban was signed into law in March 2019 and blocked in May by District Judge Carlton W. Reeves.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization “sought a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the lawsuit remains in court,” the AP’s Emily Wagster Pettus reported.

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