Florida court upholds state's 15-week abortion ban but allows vote on rights amendment

Florida's Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a ban on abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy, even as it allowed an abortion rights amendment to be on the ballot in November.

The pair of decisions threw into sharp relief the bitter fight over reproductive rights, an issue that Democrats are championing in an election year.

Abortion is currently allowed in the southern state at up to 15 weeks of pregnancy but a Republican-backed law slashes that to six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant.

The conservative-dominated state supreme court was considering both the legality of the abortion restrictions and the proposed amendment that would enshrine a woman's right to abortion in the Florida constitution.

Amendment 4, as it is called, reads in part: "No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient's health, as determined by the patient's health care provider."

The viability of a fetus outside the womb is generally considered to be around 24 weeks.

At least 60 percent of the voters in Florida would need to approve the amendment, sponsored by a campaign called Floridians Protecting Freedom, for it to pass.

Democrats are hoping that having abortion on the ballot will boost their turnout in Florida, won by Trump in both 2016 and 2020, and in other states.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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