Leon County judge to block Florida’s 15-week abortion law

Judge John Cooper offered a verbal ruling following Thursday's closing arguments.
Judge John Cooper offered a verbal ruling following Thursday's closing arguments.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 11:42 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 11:49 AM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Leon County judge will block Florida’s new law banning abortions after 15 weeks, siding with plaintiffs who say it violates the Florida Constitution.

The statewide temporary injunction blocking the law likely won’t take effect until Tuesday, July 5, Judge John Cooper said after declaring it unconstitutional. The order still needs to be drafted, and the state will have a chance to review it before Judge Cooper officially signs it.

The law is scheduled to take effect at 12 a.m. Friday.

House Bill 5 was passed by the State Legislature in March and received Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature in April. The law would restrict legal abortions from 24 to 15 weeks into gestation.

Attorneys representing the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other challengers seeking the temporary injunction to stop the law from taking effect made closing arguments Thursday. Lawyers defending the state also made their final remarks in the case.

The plaintiffs argued the law violates the Florida Constitution, which includes a more robust right to privacy clause than the U.S. Constitution.

The state argued the law supports maternal health, so therefore, it has a compelling interest to make sure it takes effect Friday.

To be clear, this convoluted constitutional law case is not stemming from the reversal of Roe v. Wade, since this is a challenge to the state constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. The groups had initially filed their lawsuit on June 1.

The state will more than likely appeal this ruling.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Challenge to Florida abortion law begins inside Leon County courtroom

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