The new Florida law is similar to Mississippi’s. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide its fate this summer.
Mississippi is leading the way for states across the nation to pass pro-life legislation similar to its 15-week abortion ban, the fate of which now rests with the U.S. Supreme Court following a hearing on the Magnolia State law in December 2021.
The Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has now signed a 15-week abortion ban that mirrors the Mississippi law, making North Carolina the only Southern state to permit an abortion after 15 weeks.
“We’re here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” DeSantis said at the bill signing, as reported by the Florida news outlet.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves was pleased with the news, telling Y’all Politics that he welcomed the news from Florida and applauded his fellow Governor’s action.
“I applaud Florida for taking additional steps to promote a culture of life in their state,” Reeves said Thursday following the Florida bill signing. “Preserving the sanctity of life is an all-hands-on-deck effort and we’re proud to stand alongside Florida in our joint mission to save millions of babies for generations to come!”
Florida Democrats, including potential challengers to DeSantis, and pro-abortion groups are vowing to challenge the new law in court.
However, given that the U.S. Supreme Court could hand down their ruling within the next two months, such legal challenges may not hold much water.
The model Mississippi law, championed by then-Lt. Governor Reeves and Speaker Philip Gunn, was passed by the Legislature in 2018 and signed into law by former Governor Phil Bryant. It was subsequently contested in local courts before Attorney General Lynn Fitch took the challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the state’s right to enact the law in 2021.
If the U.S. Supreme Court sides with Mississippi’s position, pundits say it could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade which has been the key ruling regarding abortions in America since 1973.
“When the Supreme Court lets loose its hold on abortion policymaking, for the first time in fifty years, the people will be able to have real dialogue about how they want to regulate abortion, promote life, and empower and support women in challenging circumstances,” Attorney General Fitch has said. “The debate will look different from state to state, but that is the beauty of a strong democracy.”
Mississippi Governor Reeves told Y’all Politics in March he was proud the Magnolia State’s law was helping defend life in other states.
“Mississippi’s abortion law will preserve the sanctity of life, and I encourage other states to take a long, hard look at our law as they develop and implement their own,” Reeves said then as state lawmakers across the country were drafting similar bills. “I’m proud of the work we’re doing to save babies, and there is no question our law will do just that.”
As previously reported by Y’all Politics, many of the other states that are moving forward with increased bans are doing so because lawmakers and state leaders, mainly Republicans, believe the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade when it rules on Mississippi’s case, which could come in June.