DeSantis’ abortion law Blocked, which was scheduled to take effect on July 1, prohibits abortions after 15 weeks in Florida, current state law is 24-weeks. The bill mirrors the Mississippi legislation at the center of Roe v. Wade's landmark ruling, which was recently struck down by the Supreme Court.
The law, according to Circuit Court Judge John Cooper, who ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood affiliates and other abortion providers in Florida, violates the state constitution's privacy rights protections, which the state's high court has said includes a woman's right to choose.
State law had previously restricted abortions after 24 weeks
A spokesperson for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican, said the state will appeal. The case could eventually reach Florida's high court, whose composition has changed and now includes all Republican-appointed justices.
"This is a great victory for the people of Florida and Roe v. Wade," said Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson in a statement. "We will not stop fighting until every person has the right to make their own decision about their body, their health, and their future."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented the plaintiffs, said the ruling means "Florida women will continue to have safe and legal access to abortion — for now."
"This fight is not over: The state has already indicated it will appeal, and we will be ready to defend this victory," ACLU of Florida Executive Director Micah Kubic said in a statement.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, another plaintiff, said in a statement the ruling "reaffirms that every woman, no matter where she lives, deserves to make her own pregnancy decisions without interference from politicians."
The abortion ban was just one of several laws DeSantis signed in April that put him at the forefront of the Republican push to overturn Roe. The others include a requirement that women wait 24 hours after consulting with a doctor before getting an abortion and a provision that would have made it a felony for doctors to perform abortions based on the race, sex, or disability of the fetus.
Both Cooper's ruling and a federal court decision this week blocking Mississippi's similar 15-week ban relied heavily on the Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. In that case, the court struck down a Texas law that would have required abortions to be performed in hospital-like facilities and banned the procedure after 20 weeks.