📜 The decision:
On June 24, six weeks after someone leaked a draft of the decision to POLITICO, six of the Supreme Court’s nine justices struck down Roe v. Wade in their ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case had challenged Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Though Chief Justice John Roberts joined the majority in their judgment, he called the Dobbs decision a “serious jolt to the legal system.” The court’s three liberal-leaning justices deplored the decision in their dissent, decrying its impact on Americans and the court’s reputation.
💬 What elected officials say:
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said “I strongly believe that women should have the right to make their own healthcare decisions. Today’s Supreme Court ruling will put the health and safety of women making a deeply personal choice at risk…It also undermines established legal precedent of nearly half a century and could lead to the reversal of progress on civil, voting and LBGTQ+ rights. We should be moving forward as a nation, not backwards.”
Rep. Anna V. Eskamani called the overturning of Roe “part of a 50-year insidious, meticulous effort to ban abortion state by state, bill by bill, justice by justice.”
Senator Marco Rubio stated “I will soon introduce a bill to ensure we do everything we can to give every child the opportunity to fully access the promise of America.”
Rep. Val Demings said “because of today’s ruling, women will be forced to put their lives on the line, victims of rape and incest will be forced into pregnancy, and we cannot say we control our own bodies in this country. Our daughters and granddaughters have lost a right we fought so hard to protect.”
Governor Ron DeSantis said the decision “answered the prayers of millions upon millions of Americans.” He called the court’s ruling a proper interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and stated Florida would “work to expand pro-life protections and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care, and child welfare.”
🗳 Where the candidates stand:
Charlie Crist, one of the two Democratic officials vying to challenge to Gov. DeSantis in the upcoming election stated that, if elected to office, he would “sign an Executive Order to protect reproductive freedom in Florida” on his first day as governor. He called SCOTUS’ decision “a war on woman” at a rally in St. Petersburg, Fla. His opponent in the Democratic primary, Nikki Fried, clapped back at his remark, saying that as a former Florida governor, Crist already had his first day in office. Fried joined Levine Cava at a march in Wynwood and insisted that SCOTUS’ ruling would not stop abortions, that it would only stop safe abortions.
🏛 Current law says:
In April, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — reducing a previous 24-week timeline. The law, which will go into effect on July 1, makes no exception for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking. It does, however, allow for abortion if women’s health is threatened or if the baby has a “fatal fetal abnormality,” though the pregnant person must receive written confirmation from two different doctors of the necessity of the abortion before they can terminate the pregnancy. You can read the legislative text here — the relevant text begins on page nine. April also saw a Florida county circuit court judge affirm a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. The decision upheld the constitutionality of a 2015 law that requires women to wait 24 hours after initial visits with physicians before having abortions.
The ban is now back in effect after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody appealed a district court judge’s temporary stay on the ban. A joint statement from the ACLU of Florida, Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the law firm Jenner & Block had this to say: “The impacts of allowing this ban to remain in effect will fall hardest on people of color, those trying to make ends meet, immigrants, young people, and vulnerable populations like survivors of intimate partner violence.” (Axios)
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody wants the state Supreme Court’s word on our new abortion law ASAP. Shortly after appealing the temporary injunction by a circuit court judge, Moody filed a document with 1st District Court of Appeal asking that the case be fast-tracked to the state’s highest court. “The state’s appeal from that decision raises questions of exceptional public importance that warrant immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court,” the document says. The filing also indicates the state’s plans to lean on the overturning of Roe v. Wade to defend the new 15-week limit on abortions. As of right now, Florida law preventing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy will remain in effect while the legal battle plays out. (Miami Herald)
⚖️ Challenges to the law:
There are (at least) two lawsuits filed this month in the Leon County Circuit Court to challenge the 15-week ban, one by the Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor of Boynton Beach, another by ACLU of Florida in which ACLU of Florida’s legal director has stated “we will do everything in our power to block this cruel attack on Floridians’ fundamental right to get the care they need.”
🆘 Who’s helping on the ground:
If/When/How is a National legal aid reproductive justice organization that mobilizes lawyers to support young, undocumented, gender-nonbinary, and other abortion seekers in the U.S.
Floridians for Reproductive Freedom is a coalition of organizations throughout the state, including those local to Orlando, “fighting for equal and safe access to a full range of reproductive health care,” including abortion. Check out their member organizations here.
Planned Parenthood provides services in Florida as Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida with quality and affordable healthcare when needed most, providing a myriad of services ranging from abortions to mammograms to STD testing, as well as referrals to oncologists, obstetricians and other sexual health specialists
Florida Access Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit and member of the National Network of Abortion Funds, provides funding for abortion in addition to its advocacy work.
Access Reproductive Care supports abortion seekers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee with access to information, financial support and practical support (rides, etc.) in getting an abortion.
Walt Disney has joined a myriad of companies offering to cover abortion related travel costs for employess stating “We recognize the impact of the ruling and that we remain committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live.”
🗓️ Where to find local events:
Bans Off Our Bodies is a national campaign led by abortion rights supporters. Check their events map for local protests and other gatherings.
🇺🇸 National organizations advocating for abortion access:
Contact members of Congress about the Women’s Health Protection Act, which protects the right to access abortion care throughout the United States.
Worth noting, It’s never been easier to register to vote.