Florida Supreme Court issues a pair of controversial abortion decisions

“We conclude there is no basis under the Privacy Clause to invalidate the statute,” Justice Jamie Grosshans wrote while dropping the Court’s culture bomb. The decision overturned decades of pro-abortion law in Florida. Justice Grosshans explained, “In doing so, we recede from our prior decisions in which — relying on reasoning the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected — we held that the Privacy Clause guaranteed the right to receive an abortion through the end of the second trimester.”

Although the case was ostensibly about a previous 15-week ban, the court’s reasoning applies equally to the new six-week ban. The precedent-crushing decision, which only Florida’s Supreme Court could make, removed an injunction staying the new laws.

The case will have a monster effect. The Post reported that last year, more than 84,000 abortions were performed in Florida, more than in almost any other state, and far more than previously reported in any of the 17 states that have now banned all or most abortions.

In a separate abortion ruling this week, the court also approved a 2024 ballot initiative to amend Florida’s Constitution to allow abortions.  The proposed amendment would leave the decision about when an abortion could be provided to the woman’s doctor: “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”

In other words, an individual doctor could determine that ‘viability’ means ‘birth.’ To pass, the amendment requires a 60% supermajority of voters.

The decision upholding Florida’s new abortion limits was particularly interesting to me, since my winning mask and vaccine cases were based on Florida’s Right to Privacy and decades of abortion decisions extolling bodily autonomy and physical privacy. Needless to say, Florida’s Supreme Court didn’t include those issues.

Florida’s election season just got a gigantic emotional upgrade.

Jeff Childers

Jeff Childers is the president and founder of the Childers Law firm. Jeff interned at the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Orlando, where he helped write several widely-cited opinions. He then worked as an associate with the prestigious firm of Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman in Orlando and Winter Park, Florida before moving back to Gainesville and founding Childers Law. Jeff served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Eighth Judicial Bar Association, and on the Rules Committee for the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Court. Jeff has published several articles as co-author with Professor William Page of the Levin College of Law (University of Florida) on the topic of anti-trust in the Microsoft case. He also is the author of an article on the topic of Product Liability in the Software Context. Jeff focuses his area of practice on commercial litigation, elections law, and constitutional issues. He is a skilled trial litigator and appellate advocate. http://www.coffeeandcovid.com/


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