Judge to temporarily block Florida's 15-week abortion ban

Abortion-rights marchers hold signs during a rally Friday, June 24, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women's constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court's overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. (Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida judge on Thursday said he would temporarily block a 15-week abortion ban from taking effect, following a court challenge by reproductive health providers who say the state constitution guarantees a right to the procedure.

Judge John C. Cooper made the oral ruling from the bench but the decision will not go into effect until he signs a written order, which Cooper said would not happen Thursday. The law goes into effect Friday.

Cooper said Florida's ban was "unconstitutional in that it violates the privacy provision of the Florida Constitution."

The decision came days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, ending federal protections for abortions and reigniting fierce battles in state courts and legislatures over access to the procedure.

Florida's 15-week abortion ban was passed by the GOP-controlled statehouse and signed into law by Republican Gov.