The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Florida Court Rules Against Women’s Right to Choose

Apr 8, 2024

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled against women’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

In 2022, Florida politicians enacted a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood and women’s rights organizations challenged this law all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. Now that Florida’s highest court has upheld this abortion ban, an even stricter law will go into effect. In 2023, the Florida legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law that would ban any abortions after 6 weeks! Before most women even know that they are pregnant!

This ruling will not only affect women in Florida. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, many women who wanted to have an abortion have been forced to travel to states where it was still legal—if they could even afford to travel. Since abortions in Florida had been legal for up to 15 weeks, almost 8,000 women from other southern states had abortions in Florida in 2023. Now, even that option will be denied to women.

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court threw out Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision in 2022, courts and right-wing politicians around the country have been trying to take away women’s right to choose. Before the Dobbs ruling, courts in Florida had said, over and over, that women had the right to abortion based on a 1980 state constitutional amendment that protected the right to privacy. Now, all of a sudden, the Florida Supreme Court is contradicting all its own previous rulings, and Florida politicians are passing even stricter laws against women’s right to choose.

After Roe v. Wade was overturned, women in many states organized for people to vote for ballot proposals or constitutional amendments to protect women’s right to choose. In 2022, in every state where abortion rights were on the ballot, these proposals and amendments passed. Votes and polls have clearly shown, over and over again, that the majority of people support abortion rights. In November, Florida will have an amendment on the ballot that would give women the right to abortion. But by Florida law, it will take a super-majority of 60% of the voters to pass this amendment.

Whatever the outcome of the vote, women and their supporters can’t depend on courts or politicians to protect their rights. They can only depend on their own activity and determination.