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Here's what lies ahead for abortions in Florida after Roe v. Wade was overturned

Ciara Torres Spelliscy profile photo
Stetson University
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Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a professor of law at Stetson University, said each state will now have the power to decide whether to restrict or ban the procedure.

Stetson law professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy says each state will now have the power to decide whether to restrict or ban the procedure.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ended federal protections for abortion, returning the decision on whether the procedure is legal to individual states.

Abortion remains legal in Florida, but a new law scheduled to go into effect July 1 shortens access from 24 weeks to 15 weeks for most abortions.

But on Monday, a Leon County Circuit Judge will hear arguments on a proposed temporary injunction to block that law.

Several abortion clinics and the American Civil Liberties Union say the state's privacy clause overrides the new abortion limit.

“It’s very clear under binding precedent that the right to decide to terminate a pregnancy is a central right to Florida’s privacy clause and that’s what we’re relying on in this case," said Whitney White, a staff attorney with the Reproductive Freedom Project at the ACLU. She's involved in the hearing Monday.

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a professor of law at Stetson University.

"Florida is one of 11 states that has a stronger right to privacy under the state constitution than under the federal constitution and for many years now, the right to an abortion was protected under Florida's state constitution," Torres-Spelliscy said.

A South Florida Jewish congregation has also filed a separate challenge arguing it infringes upon their religious freedom.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg called the ruling "an answer to millions of prayers that have been offered for mothers, fathers and their preborn children."

"For decades, the Catholic Church has been a leader in advocating for life in all stages of development and praying for an end to Roe v. Wade that left a whole class of human beings, the preborn, outside the protection of the law," according to the Diocese website.

The Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called the decision "an unprecedented attack on women’s rights and reproductive freedom."

"The courts are letting anti-abortion politicians attack our fundamental rights, but they don’t get the final say — we do,” interim executive director Amy Turkel said. “While we will do everything in our power to block these bans in the courts, we’re not stopping there. We are mobilizing people in the streets and taking this fight to the ballot box to hold politicians accountable. Together we can ensure we keep the power to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.”

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe versus Wade ends a half century guarantee of federal protection of abortion rights.

Torres-Spelliscy says each state will now have the power to decide whether to restrict or ban the procedure.

"States like New York have decided to protect reproductive freedoms and more conservative states have taken steps to ban abortion," Ciara Torres-Spelliscy said. "So the rights of women to reproductive health are going to very dependent on which state they happen to live in."

The ban is the strictest in the state's history. The 15-week limit, which has no exceptions for rape or incest, was framed by its supporters as a compromise against an earlier bill that called for a six week ban. That proposal never made its way out of committee.

Information from WFSU reporter Regan McCarthy was used in this report.

This story will be updated.

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