TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Supreme Court released an order late last night that allowed the state’s 15-week abortion ban to remain in effect. Only 7 hours later, the court retracted the order.
The initial order from the Florida Supreme Court rejected a request by abortion providers to block the state’s 15-week abortion ban.
“For a brief moment last night, it looked like that happened and then we found out it didn’t really happen, so right now the automatic stay is in place,” said Richard Harrison, a Florida local government attorney.
Almost immediately after the order was issued, the court withdrew it, blaming the court clerk’s office for the error.
“I’ve been practicing for 35 years. I’ve never seen the Florida Supreme court issue an order and come back a few hours later and say, ‘oops, sorry. It was a mistake,’” said Harrison.
In July, a lower court issued an injunction that put the 15-week abortion law on hold, and if the state appeals the case that would lead to an invalid injunction.
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of heightened scrutiny right now on the court systems. We saw this in the US Supreme court and now the Florida Supreme Court. Unfortunately, this is going to raise some additional questions when that eventual ruling comes out,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said.
Planned Parenthood has asked the courts to avoid the stay on the injunction and put the 15-week abortion ban on hold.
“That 15 was very difficult to achieve. We want to make sure what we’ve done will stick,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis.
All of this came a day after Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office released a 44-page document arguing that the Florida Supreme Court should reverse the decades-old position that a privacy clause in Florida’s constitution protects abortion rights.
“The real strategic move came yesterday when the state filed its brief on jurisdiction where they directly told the supreme court. If you take this case, we’re gonna ask you to decide the constitutional question. Does the Florida privacy provision in the state constitution protect abortion rights, which the Supreme court said that it did in 1989,” Harrison said.