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Florida judge blocks new 15-week abortion ban

Supreme Court Abortion Florida
John Raoux
/
AP
In this file photo, demonstrators rally in support of abortion rights outside the Orlando City Hall, Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.

A Florida judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a new 15-week abortion ban days after it took effect in the state, an expected move following an oral ruling last week in which he said the law violated the state constitution.

Judge John C. Cooper issued the order in a case brought by reproductive health providers who argue that the state constitution guarantees a right to the procedure. The state is expected to appeal. The law had gone into effect Friday before being blocked.

The decision came as abortion laws change at a frenzied pace across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, with several state laws and court cases shifting access to the procedure.

The law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. It does not allow for exemptions in cases where pregnancies were caused by rape, incest or human trafficking.

The law was passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis this spring.