TALLAHASSEE (LifeSiteNews) – The Florida Supreme Court ruled 4-1 Monday that a state law banning abortion at 15 weeks will remain in force at least until a final verdict on the merits of the case is determined, in what the office of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has identified as a key step toward further pro-life action in the Sunshine State.
Last April, DeSantis signed into law HB 5, which forbids the killing of 15-week-old preborn babies except to save the life of a mother or in cases of fatal fetal abnormality (but not rape or incest), and expands committees tasked with reviewing infant mortality cases.
Abortion defenders sued to block the law from taking effect, citing language in the Florida Constitution recognizing a right to “privacy.” While the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June, eliminating the federal judicial barrier to banning abortion, it did not resolve cases rooted in claims about state constitutions.
A lower court injunction against enforcing HB 5 was stayed in July, and now the state’s highest court rejected an abortion-industry motion to restore the injunction, ABC News reports.
The four-justice majority did not offer written elaboration of their reasoning. Justice Jorge Labarga was the lone dissenter, and two jurists, Chief Justice Carlos Muniz and Justice Renatha Francis, did not participate.
UPDATE (03/07/23): Walgreens won't dispense abortion pills in 20 states
The pressure is paying off. Walgreens' plan to dispense abortion pills nationwide is now in tatters, with the pharmaceutical giant announcing that it won't mail the pills to, or sell them within, 20 states.
The news comes after 20 Republican attorneys general warned CVS and Walgreens that doing so would be in violation of federal law and that they were opening themselves to penalties.
But we can't rest on our laurels with this boycott: Walgreens and CVS will only listen to us when their profits are threatened — we need a HUGE boycott so that blood money they get from selling abortion pills is dwarfed by the profits they lose when pro-life America shops elsewhere.
Even Politico admitted in its reporting that "pressure" from pro-life voters like you helped change Walgreens' plans, so now we're asking you to take the next step: simply share this petition with your friends and ask them to join the boycott.
Walgreens and CVS will begin selling mifepristone — a powerful chemical that kills unborn children in the womb — if pro-life America does not ACT NOW.
Pro-life Americans MUST STOP the widespread sale and distribution of mifepristone by sending a message that only big-box stores will understand: A NATIONAL BOYCOTT OF WALGREENS AND CVS.
Walgreens and CVS are the newest back-door channels for the pro-abortion movement, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.
Will you act now to STOP abortion drugs from reaching your pharmacy?
Our work in the pro-life movement is FAR from over, especially now that Walgreens and CVS have chosen to push deadly drugs in their stores and in our communities!
SIGN and SEND a message to Walgreens and CVS! This is completely unacceptable!
We must stop abortion from reaching our pharmacies and stop the abortion industry from poisoning our communities — before it’s too late.
These big-box stores respond only to profit. The pro-life movement must enact a national boycott if the abortion industry dares flood our neighborhoods!
SIGN and SEND a strong message to Walgreens and CVS: unless they immediately reverse course, the entire pro-life movement will BOYCOTT their stores!
SIGN NOW and send a clear message!
CVS & Walgreens announce plans to dispense abortion pills after Biden FDA loosens restrictions
DeSantis spokesperson Bryan Griffin celebrated the ruling by citing the Declaration of Independence’s guarantee of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” an apparent allusion to Vice President Kamala Harris omitting “life” from her own invocation of the nation’s founding document in pro-abortion remarks in Florida days before.
“The Declaration of Independence enumerates three unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — and we stand for all of them,” Griffin stated.
DeSantis has made combatting the Left a cornerstone of his governorship and established one of the most proactive conservative records in the nation, fueling his popularity as a potential contender for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination. But some have suggested abortion is an exception to that record, citing the relative modesty of Florida’s 15-week law as opposed to other states’ heartbeat laws or total abortion bans.
Last July, the governor’s office addressed these concerns in a statement to LifeSiteNews. Griffin pointed to a previous statement from the office explaining that “future legislative action necessarily depends on the resolution of” legal challenges to the 15-week law, and that “[w]e are in continuous contact with the legislature as this litigation proceeds, and we look forward to future policy plans to defend the unborn.”
“The pending state legal battle must necessarily be resolved before future legislative action can occur,” Griffin explained. “The governor’s office has filed a motion to certify the appeal for immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court. This was done because we believe that the Florida Supreme Court previously misinterpreted Florida’s right to privacy as including a right to an abortion, and we reject this interpretation. The Florida Constitution does not include – and has never included – a right to kill an innocent unborn child. We believe HB 5 will ultimately withstand all legal challenges. The struggle for life is not over.”
DeSantis, who has also ousted a left-wing prosecutor who publicly refused to enforce HB 5, put Florida pharmacies on notice not to sell abortion pills despite recent rule changes by the Biden administration, and signaled last month that he would sign a heartbeat law.