Governor Ron DeSantis Appeals Order Blocking 15-Week Abortion Ban, Pro-Life Law Will Now Save Babies

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 5, 2022   |   11:41AM   |   Tallahassee, Florida

Less than one week after the Supreme Court upheld a 15-week abortion ban in the state of Mississippi, a Florida judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of a 15-week abortion ban Governor DeSantis signed to save babies from abortions.

DeSantis says his administration will appeal a Florida judge’s ruling striking down a pro-life law to save babies from abortions, which could protect as many as 5,000 unborn children a year.

UPDATE: Less than an hour after the judge blocked the ban, Governor Ron DeSantis appealed the order. His appeal automatically nullified the order and the law is now in effect as the case continues. For now, that means that House Bill 5, which DeSantis signed into law in April, remains the law in Florida and can save babies from abortions.

In a 68-page order released Tuesday, Judge John Cooper followed through on his verbal ruling Thursday.

“Without HB 5, women in Florida can obtain abortions for any reason up until fetal viability. With HB 5, women in Florida are unable to obtain an abortion between 15 weeks (from the last menstrual period) and fetal viability unless one of HB 5’s narrow exceptions applies,” Cooper wrote.

“I’m not here to litigate abortion,” Cooper said. “I’m here to litigate the right to privacy in Florida. I’m not here to litigate Roe v. Wade.”

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Cooper acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe in the Dobbs case but noted that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the privacy clause in the state’s constitution can be used to justify overturning pro-life laws. Critics note the clause was adopted prior to roe v. Wade, says nothing about abortion and has been misused to allow an unlimited “right” to abortion when the intention of the clause was to value privacy from government intrusion.

“We’re here today to protect life,” Governor DeSantis said at a large ceremony to sign the bill back in April. “We’re here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves.”

And last week, DeSantis said he would vigorously defend the law.

“It was not, of course, something that we were happy to see,” DeSantis said. “These are unborn babies that have heartbeat, they can feel pain, they can suck their thumb. To say that the state constitution mandates things like dismemberment abortions, I just don’t think that’s the proper interpretation.”

DeSantis spokesperson Bryan Griffin told the Tampa Bay Times that DeSantis will appeal the decision.

“The Florida Supreme Court previously misinterpreted Florida’s right to privacy as including a right to an abortion, and we reject this interpretation,” Griffin said. “The Florida Constitution does not include – and has never included – a right to kill an innocent unborn child.”

When DeSantis signed the law, the governor said the bill “protects the rights of unborn children starting at 15 weeks. This is a time where these babies have beating hearts. They can move, they can taste, they can see, they can feel pain, they can suck their thumb, and they have brain waves.”

“Life is a sacred gift worthy of our protection, and I am proud to sign this great piece of legislation which represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history,” he said.

“So this will represent the most significant protections for life that have been enacted in this state in a generation.”

The legislation, which would have gone into effect today, bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions if the mother’s life is at risk or the unborn baby has a fatal disorder. It also includes measures to reduce infant mortality and a requirement that abortion facilities report suspected human trafficking cases to the state.

As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.

Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.

Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.

Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.

Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

This is a landmark day for the Pro-Life movement and our entire nation. After staining the moral fabric of our country for nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade is no more.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.

Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion.

Below is an image of an unborn baby at 18 weeks.