Politics & Government

Supreme Court decision on Texas abortion law could affect Florida limits

By Michael Auslen

Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled a controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional in a case that could impact Florida.

In a 5-3 vote, the court threw out a requirement that abortion clinics have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

This year, the Florida Legislature approved and Gov. Rick Scott signed a law that in part has a similar provision. It goes into effect Friday.

It's not yet clear what impact the opinion will have on Florida.

"We are reviewing the ruling," Scott spokewsoman Jackie Schutz said.

The court also found another provision of the Texas law, which required abortion clinics to be licensed similarly to surgical centers, as unconstitutional. Florida does not have a similar provision, but the Legislature has considered similar rules.

In the court's opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that "neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access."