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Florida ruling ‘deviates from the more moderate views’ held by most Americans

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Damien Sharp

While Florida’s Supreme Court ruling on Monday allowed the state to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, in a separate decision released on the same day, the justices said that a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to an abortion could go on the November ballot.

Landon Schnabel, a professor at Cornell University, studies inequality, how it changes over time, and why it persists through social change in the United States. His expertise focuses on the relationships between reproduction and religion and public opinion.

Landon Schnabel

Robert and Ann Rosenthal Assistant Professor of Sociology

“The Florida Supreme Court's seemingly contradictory abortion rulings—allowing a six-week ban while permitting voters to decide on a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights up to viability—reveal the tension between conservative courts and the popular will in determining reproductive rights.

“The six-week ban, reflecting the interests of certain religious and conservative groups, deviates from the more moderate and complex views held by most Americans and Floridians. Total abortion bans and policies close to them are generally unpopular. Florida voters will soon voice their opinion. This vote highlights the conflict but also symbiosis between court decisions and democratic processes, making Florida a key battleground in the national fight over reproductive rights post-Roe.

“The outcome could shape the direction of abortion access nationwide. What happened in Florida exemplifies the power struggle between courts, lawmakers, and the people in determining the future of abortion rights in America.”

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