Although Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper earlier this week issued a verbal opinion stating his plan to block the state’s 15-week abortion ban, that opinion won’t be binding until he signs a written order.
The ban — House Bill 5 signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in April — took effect Friday, July 1.
During a press conference, DeSantis said Cooper’s opinion was not surprising.
“These are unborn babies that have heartbeats, they can feel pain, they can suck their thumb, and to say the state constitution mandates things like dismemberment abortions — I just don’t think that’s the proper interpretation,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis’ office issued a statement and said it plans to appeal Cooper’s ruling.
“While we are disappointed with today’s ruling, we know that the pro-life HB 5 will ultimately withstand all legal challenges,” the statement read. “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 will appeal today’s ruling and ask the Florida Supreme Court to reverse its existing precedent regarding Florida’s right to privacy. The struggle for life is not over.”