TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida and other reproductive health care providers are challenging Florida’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy at a state court in Tallahassee.
Attorneys representing Planned Parenthood argued in front of Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper that the ban violates the privacy rights that are protected by the state’s constitution.
Cooper said he needs time to read the depositions and reconvene on Thursday to listen to closing arguments before being able to make a decision.
“I want to do the job the best I can do,” Cooper said adding that he is likely to announce his ruling late Thursday.
House Bill 5, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in April, reduces the existing 24-week ban starting on Friday. The new law doesn’t include exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking.
A ruling on that is expected Thursday — a day before the law is scheduled to take effect. If the judge rules against the injunction, those who violate the 15-week ban could face up to five years in prison. Medical professionals could lose their licenses and pay $10,000 for each violation.
In Friday’s ruling, the Supreme Court left it to the states to decide whether to allow abortion. As of Saturday, abortion services had stopped in at least 11 states — either because of state laws or confusion over them.