Florida’s Top Court Allowed a Six-Week Abortion Ban

The Florida Supreme Court ruled today that the State Constitution’s privacy protections do not extend to abortion. The move overturns decades of precedent and clears the way for a ban on abortions in the state after six weeks of pregnancy to take effect within 30 days.

The ban, enacted last year by the state’s Republican-led government, will alter the landscape of abortion access across the American South, where women have long traveled to Florida from states with little to no access. Soon, women seeking abortions will very likely have to travel much further because few know they are pregnant at six weeks.

In a separate decision released at the same time, the court unanimously ruled that a proposed constitutional amendment to expand abortion access could appear on ballots in November. The measure, which would require support from 60 percent of voters, would guarantee the right to an abortion in the state up until a fetus is considered viable at around 24 weeks.

The rulings encapsulated, in a single state on a single day, how the country has grappled with abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. Florida is the latest among more than 20 states where abortion opponents have further restricted the procedure. It is also now the largest state in which supporters of abortion rights have secured a ballot measure — a step they see as crucial in preserving abortion access, and a topic that has energized Democratic voters.