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essay mills to be banned

  • Education, training and skills
  • Further and higher education, skills and vocational training

Essay mills to be banned under plans to reform post-16 education

Unscrupulous ‘essay mills’ to be criminalised as part of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill

essay mills to be banned

Services offering to provide students with essays for money, known as essay mills, are to be made illegal under plans announced by the government today (5 October).

The government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise these cheating services for financial gain to students taking a qualification at any institution in England providing post-16 education including universities.

The move is one of a number of measures being introduced to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill , to transform the skills and training landscape and help level up opportunities across the country.

The law will also be changed to give equality to technical education in careers advice in schools, so all pupils understand the wide range of career routes and training available to them, such as apprenticeships, T Levels or traineeships, not just a traditional academic route.

Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said:

Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do. We are taking steps to ban these cheating services. We have also announced a new measure to make sure all young people receive broader careers guidance so everyone can get the advice that’s right for them.

Banning essay mills will help to safeguard the academic integrity and standards of post-16 and higher education in England and protect students from falling prey to the deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services.

This follows a number of steps already taken to tackle unscrupulous essay mills, including government working alongside the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Universities UK and the National Union of Students to produce guidance for institutions on how to combat the threat of contract cheating and guidance for students to make them better aware of the consequences, sending a clear message that these services are not legitimate.

Additional measures being introduced to the Bill include enabling sixth form colleges with a religious faith designation to become a 16-19 Academy, boosting diversity in 16-19 academies and allowing more faith school providers to open 16-19 academies with a religious character.

The Bill, which will enter its report stage in the House of Lord on 12 October, underpins the government’s transformation of post-16 education and skills as set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper . The reforms outlined in the Bill will help to create more routes into skilled employment in sectors the economy needs such as engineering, digital, clean energy and manufacturing, so more people can secure well-paid jobs in their local areas, levelling up the nation and supporting communities to thrive.

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Blog The Education Hub

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/28/essay-mills-are-now-illegal-skills-minister-calls-on-internet-service-providers-to-crack-down-on-advertising/

Essay mills are now illegal - Skills Minister calls on internet service platforms to crack down on advertising

essay mills to be banned

Skills Minister Alex Burghart has written to internet service platforms to make sure they know that essay mills - which facilitate cheating by helping academic writing, often by appearing to be legitimate - have been made illegal and to call on their support in making sure they can no longer advertise online. Here you can read that letter.

The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill has become law. Through this act, the Government has legislated for landmark reforms that will transform post-16 education and skills, including criminalising essay mills.

As you may know, Essay Mills are online platforms that facilitate contract cheating. Contract cheating happens when a third party completes work for a student which is passed off by the student as their own work. Many essay mill companies use marketing techniques which indicate they are offering ‘legitimate’ academic writing support for students. Reports also indicate that some essay mills seek to blackmail students who use these services. It is right that we have legislated against these insidious crimes.

It is now a criminal offence to provide or arrange for another person to provide contract cheating services for financial gain to students taking a qualification at a post-16 institution or sixth form in England, enrolled at a higher education provider in England and any other person over compulsory school age who has been entered for a regulated qualification at a place in England.

Similarly, it is now an offence for a person to make arrangements for an advertisement in which that person offers, or is described as being available or competent, to provide or arrange for another person to provide a cheating service. Importantly, the offence centres around the act of advertising to students, and for the offence to be committed it does not need to be seen by its target demographic.

There is now a strengthened, collaborative effort across the sector to tackle essay mills and we want you to be part of this campaign. Platforms such as yourself play an integral role in helping us to make the most effective use of the legislation; marketing and advertising are the lifeblood of any successful industry. We are aware that high numbers of essay mills have used your platform to promote their services to students in the past, paying for advertising to promote their companies. Essay mills are now illegal entities, and you should not carry their advertising. It is no longer a moral question; you will be facilitating an illegal activity. I ask you to do everything in your power to prevent the advertising these unscrupulous practices.

Removing essay mill access to online marketing will seriously hamper their efforts to target vulnerable students and I implore you to do so following the introduction of this legislation. We must now all work together to capitalise on it.

I hope that in writing to you today I have underlined the urgency of this issue and the important role that companies like yours play in stamping out essay mills once and for all and am sure I can be confident in your support.

Thank you for your support with this important matter.

Tags: cheating , essay mills , internet service platforms

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Essay mills: 'Contract cheating' to be made illegal in England

  • Published 6 October 2021

Stock image of students working in a library

Offering essay-writing services to students for a fee will become a criminal offence under plans to tackle cheating by "essay mills".

The government says the move will protect students from the "deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services".

Providing pre-written or custom-made essays for students to present as their own is already illegal in some places.

Skills minister Alex Burghart said essay mills were "unethical".

There are more than 1,000 essay mills in operation, according to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the watchdog for standards in UK universities.

The agency's Gareth Crossman said the decision "sends a clear signal" but the higher education sector must work together to put these "unscrupulous outfits" out of business.

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A 2018 survey suggested that 15.7% of recent graduates admitted to cheating, but Universities UK said that the use of essay mills by students was rare.

A spokeswoman said: "Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues and are engaging with students from day one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided."

She added that universities welcomed the decision to make essay mills illegal, and said all universities had codes of conduct with severe penalties for submitting work that is not a student's own.

Students said there should be more academic and pastoral support, so that they are "never in the position of feeling that they have to turn to essay mills in the first place".

The National Union of Students said: "These private companies prey on students' vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation, and never more so than during the pandemic."

The ban on essay mills is one of a number of measures being introduced to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.

It will also include changes to careers advice in schools intended to give equality to technical education, ensuring that pupils have opportunities to learn about apprenticeships, T-levels and traineeships.

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  • Published 31 August 2018

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  • Published 9 September 2021

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Essay cheating: How common is it?

  • Published 3 May 2018

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UK to ban 'essay mills' in sweeping post-16 education reforms

British government announces plan to crack down on 'cheating services'.

It will soon be a criminal offence in England to provide, arrange or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain to students. Photo: Martin-DM

It will soon be a criminal offence in England to provide, arrange or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain to students. Photo: Martin-DM

The National author image

Commercial essay-writing services for students, or "essay mills", are set to be banned in England under plans to protect the academic integrity and standards of post-16 education, the UK government said on Tuesday.

It intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise such services to university and college students for financial gain.

Making essay mills illegal under new legislation will help to protect students from falling prey to the "deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services", the Department for Education said.

"Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do," said UK Skills Minister Alex Burghart.

"We are taking steps to ban these cheating services."

The move was welcomed by Universities UK which said it had "repeatedly called for essay-writing services to be made illegal".

"While the use of essay mills by students is rare, all universities have codes of conduct that include severe penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own," it said.

"Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues and are engaging with students from day one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided."

Banning essay mills is one of several measures being introduced to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which aims to transform further and technical education.

Careers education in schools will be strengthened to ensure all pupils have opportunities to learn about all technical education options available to them, including apprenticeships, T-levels and traineeships.

The law will also be changed to give equality to technical education in careers advice in schools, so all pupils understand the wide range of routes and training available to them, not just academic options.

Other amendments to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which enters its report stage in the House of Lords on October 12, include allowing more faith school providers to open post-16 academies with a religious character.

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University chiefs 'urge education secretary to ban essay mills'

Vice-chancellors call for firms who offer essay-writing services to be made illegal, BBC reports

More than 40 university chiefs are reported to have written to the education secretary calling for a ban on so-called “essay mills”.

The vice-chancellors have called for companies who offer essay-writing services to be made illegal amid fears they are undermining the integrity of degree courses.

As many as one in seven recent graduates may have cheated by using “essay mills” during the last four years, according to a recent study.

Students who get caught face punishment by their university, including possible disqualification, although it is not illegal for a company to offer the service.

The BBC reports that the vice-chancellors are calling for new laws to target those who provide the services, rather than students who use them.

The universities minister, Sam Gyimah, has said completely outlawing the services remains an option, although work is ongoing to tackle the problem by other means.

He said: “I expect universities to be educating students about these services and highlight the stiff, and possibly life-changing, penalties they face.

“I also want the sector to do more to grip the problem, for example by tackling advertising of these services in their institutions and finally blocking these services from sending an alarming number of emails to the inboxes of university students and staff.

“I have been working with organisations across the higher education sector to bear down on this problem and this has already resulted in the likes of YouTube removing adverts for these essay mills, but legislative options are not off the table.”

Essay mills are illegal in some countries and a parliamentary petition is already under way calling for them to be banned. The work can be difficult to identify as the essays are tailored for individual subjects and appear original.

A study by Swansea University published in August reviewed questionnaires dating back to 1978 where students were asked if they had ever paid for someone else to complete their work.

The findings – covering 54,514 participants – showed a 15.7% rise in the number of students who admitted cheating between 2014 and 2018.

In March the Advertising Standards Agency banned adverts for an essay-writing company for failing to make it clear that the papers were not meant to be submitted by students as their own work.

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  • Original article
  • Open access
  • Published: 29 June 2021

Essay mills and other contract cheating services: to buy or not to buy and the consequences of students changing their minds

  • Michael Draper   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1272-8122 1 ,
  • Thomas Lancaster 2 ,
  • Sandie Dann 3 ,
  • Robin Crockett 3 , 4 &
  • Irene Glendinning 5  

International Journal for Educational Integrity volume  17 , Article number:  13 ( 2021 ) Cite this article

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Very few parts of the world have legislation that prohibits the operation or the promotion of contract cheating services. This means that commercial companies providing such services can formally register and operate in most countries. If a student enters into an agreement with a contract cheating provider, what rights do they have to change their mind and what are the risks if they choose to do so? This paper examines the question through legal, institutional and societal lenses, showing that although a student has the consumer rights to withdraw from a contract with an essay mill, they may also be putting their future at risk by doing so. Contract cheating providers are now embedded within many institutions, using sharp practices to connect with vulnerable customers, but are also perfectly placed to blackmail students or threaten to report them to their institution if they ask to cancel their order. The paper argues that, while not condoning the practice of contract cheating, supportive processes need to be in place to help students at risk as part of standard institutional duty of care. This must be backed up by institutional policy that considers academic integrity as a core value for all.

Introduction

The contract cheating industry, those services that (offer to) supply essays and other work for students to (mis) use during the assessment process, is proactive in encouraging students to cheat. Despite the unethical nature of this industry, at the time of writing this paper, legislation prohibiting commercial contract cheating only applies in New Zealand, Australia, Republic of Ireland and in several states within the USA (Draper et al. 2017 ). Even where legislation exists, companies supplying work to students can be based anywhere in the world (Draper and Newton 2017 ).

Given that essay mills operate with apparent impunity in most jurisdictions, what are the legal rights of students who initially choose to commission a bespoke assignment, but then subsequently have second thoughts and change their mind? The right for students to withdraw has not been previously discussed in the literature, but it is necessary for student protection. The contract cheating industry is such that it preys on vulnerable students, leaving them positioned to becoming victims of unfair or illegal actions. Immediately someone makes an enquiry about using a third party to complete their assessments, they become open to threats of exposure. Extortion threats that some of the authors have encountered involve students who have not actually purchased anything or not submitted the work provided.

A student may be unaware of consequences such as these when they are seduced by contract cheating provider marketing or may later realise the benefits that come from operating with academic integrity. Can such students withdraw from the contract they have made with a contract cheating provider and what are the risks if they decide to do so?

Essay mills are defined by the UK Quality Assurance Agency as organisations or individuals, usually with an online presence, that contract with students to complete assignments for a fee (QAA 2020 ). The original definition of contract cheating, put forward by Clarke and Lancaster ( 2006 ) refers to “the submission of work by students for academic credit which the students have paid contractors to write for them”. Despite the original paper describing contract cheating examples of varied assessment types, most notably computer programming, some subsequent researchers have equated the term solely with written assessments. Commentators, such as Bretag et al. ( 2018 ) have supported Clarke and Lancaster’s ( 2006 ) original discussion by suggesting that contract cheating needs to be considered as a nuanced problem that extends beyond essay mills.

One such nuance asks when contract cheating begins. If a student puts forward a request to outsource their assessments, is this cheating? If they commission and receive work but do not submit it, have they contract cheated? Other terms are sometimes used synonymously with contract cheating, including assignment outsourcing, commissioning, also essay mills and ghost-writing, all depending if the discussion relates to the student or the contract cheating provider. There are also wider concerns such as facilitation, where students act as agents for contract cheating providers, helping to funnel more business their way in exchange for a financial reward or a discount on future assignment orders.

Contract cheating is arguably more serious than other forms of academic misconduct because there is no honest engagement or endeavour on the part of students who engage in such activities. Students who plagiarise or collude with other students also preparing assignments need to know enough about the subject in question in order to plagiarise or compile relevant material. By contrast, all contract cheating students need to know is how to share their assignment briefs and arrange any payments. All agents and facilitators need to know is how to put people in contact with each other or to simply forward contact details (Draper et al. 2017 ).

Students can have original essays and assignments produced for them without payment, for instance by relying on friends or family. They can also make arrangements with individual writers. Underground networks of writers operate in many university courses where students can ask another classmate or recent graduate to write an extra version of an assignment for them (Lancaster et al. 2019 ). Students also directly approach individual writers operating online through their own websites, social media and third-party sites (Lancaster 2019a , 2019b ).

The focus of this paper is on services arranged through commercial providers which allow students to have assignments completed for them. The paper reviews how essay mills operate, discusses how students form contracts with essay mills, students’ legal rights to withdraw from contracts and how institutions should respond whilst still respecting their duty of care to students. Sharp practices operated by contract cheating providers are explained throughout. The intention of the paper is to not only provide examples to share with students, discouraging them from engaging with the contract cheating industry, but also to ensure that institutions update their academic regulations, policies and procedures to respond to the growing complexity of contract cheating and the possible responses of academic institutions if a student wishes to terminate an agreement with an essay mill.

The contract cheating industry

To understand the legal discussion presented in this paper, an understanding of how the contract cheating industry operates is important. Although research into the operation of the industry is still in its infancy, all indications are that this industry is massive, complex and deceptive (Crockett and Maxwell 2021 ; Rigby et al. 2015 ). This section discusses the operation of the essay mill industry, from the range of types of essay mills available, addressing how they recruit and develop new customers, through the production and submission of finished original essays.

This section provides only a high-level overview and the actual operation of essay mills can be much more complex. For example, a new contract cheating provider can buy off-the-shelf software to run their essay mill and, for a price, tap into existing networks of writers and quality assurance services without needing to set up this complex business operation for themselves.

Ultimately, it has to be remembered that the raison d’etre of essay mills is to make as much money as possible. It is not about the welfare of the customers, despite what the web sites and marketing materials may claim. This is an industry where providers will exploit any angle to persuade their customers to pay them more money. For example, essay mill employees may join a student suspected of academic misconduct at their University panel or write a letter of reply to an allegation of misconduct – for a substantial fee. All this often takes place beyond the reach of any national legislation.

The spectrum of contract cheating providers

At one end of the spectrum, contract cheating can involve well-established registered companies, some of which are operating as legitimate and very lucrative businesses. As discussed earlier, in very few administrations are these companies illegal. Such companies are responding to an acknowledged strong demand for a range of services and are able to make a lot of money.

At the other end of the spectrum are individuals, typically students, graduates, academics, and some falsely claiming to be qualified, who are directly or indirectly supplying work on demand for both students and academics. The recompense is normally financial, but there can be alternative rewards for small-time players, including sexual and other favours. In some cultures, pressures about loyalty to family or social contacts can place demands on individuals that compel them to become ghost-writers (Glendinning 2020 ).

In the middle of this continuum are ghost-writing individuals and fledgling essay mills, who may be going through agents to find work or bidding for work through auction sites. Most ghost-writers and the intermediaries justify their actions by saying this is their way of making a living or supplementing their other income, as discussed for example by Shahghasemi and Akhavan ( 2015 ).

How contract cheating providers develop custom

How contract cheating providers develop connections with potential customers is of interest. The methods used are varied and can appear innovative. Services optimise their sites to appeal to students based on academic discipline or location, often with the same essay mill operating with different front ends (Lancaster 2020 ). For example, a student who searches online for “nursing essay help” could be directed to an essay mill shop-front containing photos of smiling nurses, and a student searching for “law essay help” could be sent to an essay mill shop-front with photos of graduating lawyers, but behind the fronts these are operated by the same firms relying on the same groups of writers.

Social media is heavily used by contract cheating providers (Lancaster 2019b ) with students posting even the slightest frustration with their essays on Twitter being regularly approached by companies offering these writing services (Amigud 2020 ). Often a commission payment is available to anyone referring business to an essay mill and job advertisements are posted by established mills to recruit recent graduates to go back to their campuses, infiltrate key events such as student association meetings and social events and recruit both customers and new agents. This can result in students working as agents or social media influencers, fake essay mill review sites that operate by collecting commission payments for introducing new custom to essay mills and even essay mills setting up fake student profiles to present themselves as a supportive environment for dissatisfied students.

Once a student has contacted or been referred to an essay mill, many more marketing techniques are used to ensure that students buy from them. Essay mills try to collect student email addresses by offering discounts. They use online chat to engage with students. Ritter ( 2005 ) noted how essay mills use language preying on students being dissatisfied with their courses to sell their services to them. Essay mills often present what they are doing as (‘tutorial’) support. Hersey and Lancaster ( 2015 ) discussed how some students consider assignments simply as commodities available to be bought and sold, and essay mills also rely on such student viewpoints.

The operation of a typical essay mill

Behind the scenes, many essay mills operate using a complex, software-driven writing and quality assurance process. Essay mills recruit writers, often using similar techniques to the ones they use to recruit students. In general, writing work is poorly paid with only a small percentage of the fee paid by a student going to the end-writer (Lancaster 2019a ).

One example of an internal model used by essay mills has been described in the literature (Ellis et al. 2018 ). A variant is presented here. Received orders are first checked by an administrator to ensure they are legitimate and can be completed. Some orders are rejected, but those that pass scrutiny are made available to writers. This often uses a bidding process, where writers pitch against one another to write the essay, a process similar to that seen in the earliest contract cheating study (Clarke and Lancaster 2006 ). Once completed, further internal quality checks are made, which may include the use of automated tools to ensure plagiarism is avoided or disguised. Writers can be penalised if their work is of poor quality. Once internally approved, the work is made available to the student, who either accepts it, or returns it for revisions through a back-and-forth process. If a student remains dissatisfied, they may raise their concerns with higher levels of essay mill management through a dispute process.

Even if a student accepts work from an essay mill, the end result is not risk free. The essay mill has the student’s contact details and can continue to market to them. Students can be required to continue to buy or they risk being blackmailed, an area which most students appear unaware of (Yorke et al. 2020 ). Writers disgruntled with the essay mill they work for can often figure out student contact details and their institution and may try and extort money from them directly or inform the educational institution of their impropriety. Also, once a student submits commissioned work via text-matching software, they become potentially identifiable by the company they used, whatever the precautions they had taken up to that point.

The legal grounds for students changing their mind

  • Contract formation

The first question to be addressed asks when a student commissions academic work, does a legally binding commitment or contract of purchase form? This is not a trivial question. An analysis of the behaviours and wider contractual relationships involved in contract cheating was undertaken by Draper et al. ( 2017 ).

Irrespective of jurisdiction, formation of a legally binding contract normally requires an offer to contract, an unqualified acceptance of that offer and its terms without variation, with the acceptance being communicated to the person making the offer with an intention to create or enter into a legal relationship with the parties to the contract having legal capacity, including by age and mental capacity.

In major European jurisdictions the existence of an agreement is usually demonstrated by the identification of at least an offer and acceptance (Jansen and Zimmermann 2011 : 636–637). This is also the case in Australia. Some jurisdictions, such as England and Wales, also require the movement of consideration or benefit between the parties for a legally enforceable contract to be created, the usual example being the payment of money in return for the service or goods supplied. In such circumstances the student receives the completed assignment and the essay mill receives money by way of consideration.

The precise terms of the contract will depend upon the terms and conditions specified by the supplier and any other terms implied to make the contract work. Some jurisdictions, particularly in the counties identified above, intervene in the freedom to contract through the imposition of implied or imposed contractual terms to protect individuals contracting in a personal capacity, typically known as a consumer, as opposed to contracting in a business capacity. However, while the transaction may be made from the student’s end in a country with consumer protection, due to the nature and operation of essay mill sites, these rights can be compromised when the transaction occurs across international borders (Durovic 2020 ).

Intervention is needed because contracts made by a business with an individual acting in a personal capacity, known as consumer contracts, usually have the following specific characteristics:

They are pre-drafted by one party as a standard form contract. Normally this means they are drafted by the essay mill rather than the student.

The express terms of the contract, usually referred to as the standard terms and conditions, are not usually subject to negotiation. This means that a consumer such as a student must usually accept the pre-drafted terms and conditions as they are if they want to obtain the desired service such as the supply of the essay.

They are entered into in circumstances in which neither party is known to the other with unequal bargaining power and commercial sophistication. A student is at a significant disadvantage in understanding the terms of the contract compared with the essay mill that drafted them, and is bound by the terms of the contract of supply, even if they have not read or understood them, provided there is reasonable notice of and a reasonable opportunity to read the terms and conditions before the contract is made.

When a student is given reasonable notice of and a reasonable opportunity to read the terms and conditions of the proposed contract before clicking ‘ I agree to the terms and conditions’ or ‘ I accept the terms and conditions’ a binding and enforceable contract will be made on those terms at some point in the ordering process when there is a clear offer and acceptance of the terms of the contract.

Further, when a contract is made with a consumer, further additional implied or imposed contractual terms and protections for the benefit of the consumer may apply. These depend on the country or the legal jurisdiction in which the contract is made or the law which applies to the contract usually by an express term known as a governing law clause.

Durovic ( 2020 , 5) notes that “consumer law and policy is faced with two major challenges, which need to be addressed adequately on the global scale. The first one is an increasing number of cross-border transactions, whereas the second one is the rise of Internet as the leading global marketplace and the entire technological developments which have disrupted the traditional consumer law”.

As essay mills tend to operate across national boundaries it is crucial that an essay mill states, in an express term of the contract, the law and jurisdiction which is to apply to the contract having regard to its legal interpretation and enforcement, in terms of governing law and/or jurisdiction clause. However, many essay mills do not provide this.

The lack of express terms may not, in itself, prevent a national court from asserting jurisdiction if their consumer(s) are at risk. As Durovic ( 2020 ) notes, there are international conventions dealing with governing law, and consumer rights and permissible use of personal information gathered in online environments.

Express terms which are relevant to this paper are those requiring the payment of a deposit on order, the cancellation of a contract and those allowing for personal information to be taken and used in addition to a name and contact details. For example, the student may be required to provide the name of the institution at which they are studying, student number and photographic identification, none of which immediately appear relevant to the subject matter of the contract.

Contractual tricks

Many of the tactics used by essay mills could be considered unfair. They know that consumers, including students, do not usually read the terms and conditions of the contract before clicking and will not therefore know in any detail what they have agreed or indeed what their rights or obligations maybe under the terms of the contract beyond a superficial understanding that payment at some point will be required for the work (Rogerson 2017 ). For example, Berreby ( 2020 ) reported in The Guardian newspaper that hundreds of College students joining a new social network did not notice a clause where they promised to give away their first-born children.

The collection and use of other types of personal information and data beyond name and Institution etc. as a result of online contracts are a current concern. For example, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ( 2019 ) observed a range of practices used by platforms that did not conform with existing consumer laws, but nevertheless may not be effective at deterring conduct that is detrimental to consumers. Given the increasing value of data, some businesses engage in conduct designed to elicit data or information the collection of which may be considered unfair to consumers.

These design patterns have become known as ‘dark patterns’ because they prompt, mislead or sometimes force consumers to provide their personal data or cause them to sign up to services, often without the consumer realising (Bignull 2010 ). Dark patterns take advantage of skim reading of text and other unconscious habits through familiarity with user interfaces to procure either money or data from consumers, often without their fully informed consent (ibid). At their most benign dark patterns nudge the behaviour of consumers to a desired outcome in which the consumer unconsciously provides personal data or agree to its use by the business. These patterns can have significant impact on unsophisticated students as the next section discusses.

When does contract acceptance take place?

After placing an order for work a student may change their mind and seek to cancel the order. As a matter of general contract law, a student may withdraw their offer without liability at any time before the contract is formed by acceptance of the order by the essay mill. Depending on the terms and conditions, the offer made by the student may be accepted so that an enforceable contract arises as soon as the order is processed, or when the payment or deposit is taken, or upon dispatch of the essay to the student. However as noted above while a legal contract may exist it does not necessarily follow that it will be enforceable across international borders and this point should be borne in mind when considering the analysis that follows – particularly when there are unscrupulous operators in this area.

A legal analysis of the typical order process discussed in the background section would conclude that acceptance likely occurs when the order status is made available to writers within an essay mill or upon the status of the order being made available to the student for review. The precise moment of the creation of an enforceable contract will depend in the main upon the terms and conditions of supply. Options to revise or embark on dispute resolution are likely to be interpreted as express contractual rights which operate after the formation of the contract.

Thus, a student would be legally entitled to withdraw their offer to purchase work and without liability, because there is no contract, before the change in status of the order. After change in status of the order it is possible that the contract contains an express term allowing for cancellation subject usually to loss of any deposit or some other sum which genuinely represents the loss suffered by the essay mill, for example payments made to a writer. In such circumstances it is important that a student follow the terms of cancellation precisely in order to legally terminate the contract and limit the loss under the contract.

Without an express term allowing for termination of the contract, for example after a change in the status of the order to ‘available’, any attempt by one party to cancel a contract before performance of that contract will usually amount to a repudiatory breach of contract entitling the innocent party to damages in respect of any loss suffered if and when that breach is accepted. From the point of view of an essay mill that will usually be payments contracted to be made to a writer for their work and other administration costs.

Consumer contracts will usually have implied rights of cancellation attached to them by legislation and/or regulations. In England and Wales this will mean the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 .

Information about the rights of a consumer to cancel a contract should be detailed by the supplier and made available to the consumer before the contract is made. Failure to provide the information to a consumer as required by the regulations will allow a consumer to claim that a breach of contract has occurred and to seek an appropriate remedy. However as noted above these rights and protections may not be available or enforceable in a cross-border context.

Consumer protection and rights of cancellation

In England and Wales as the contract between the essay mill and student will normally be concluded remotely, namely online, a student’s rights to cancel the contract are to be found in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. These are more generous than if the contract had been concluded face-to face. These regulations also apply to all auctions including online auctions. Online auctions result in contracts created at a distance rather than face to face.

As considered earlier the formation of a contract requires an offer and acceptance of that offer. It is likely that the website of an essay mill is treated in the same way as a shop window. The website is not an offer of a service or goods, but an invitation to treat, or in other words an invitation to another to make an offer to buy or order on stated terms and conditions. A student placing an order online is making an offer to buy an essay and not to accept the offer of the essay mill to supply an essay.

Depending on the terms and conditions the offer made by the student may be accepted so that an enforceable contract arises as soon as the order is processed or made ‘available’ or the deposit is taken or upon dispatch of the essay to the student as discussed above. As a matter of general contract law, a student may withdraw their offer without liability at any time before the contract is formed by acceptance. Once the contract is formed then a student will have statutory rights of cancellation without giving any reason for cancellation within a specified time. These rights can only be excluded in very limited circumstances which require the express and fully informed consent of the consumer. This means that they cannot be excluded by standard terms and conditions.

Rights of cancellation differ if the contract relates to goods or digital content or services. Both allow for cancellation within a 14-day period but the calculation of that period will be different if the contract relates to goods or digital content or services. If the supply of an essay is treated as the supply of goods then under the regulations a student has a right to cancel an order for an essay as soon as the order is placed up until 14 days from the day after the student receives the essay with a right to a refund within 14 days of either the supplier getting the goods back or the consumer providing evidence of having returned the goods. If the supply of an essay is treated as the supply of digital content, not supplied on a tangible medium or a service, then a student has 14 days starting from the day after the contract was made in which to cancel that contract with a right to a refund of money paid.

The regulations do allow for service to be started within the cancellation period and for a charge to be made providing that the consumer has expressly requested this. A consumer loses their right to cancel a service contract that has been performed fully within the cancellation period, providing they requested this and acknowledged that they would lose their right to cancel once the contract had been performed fully. It is likely that a contract for the supply of an essay will be treated as a contract for the supply of goods.

Additional rights are available under the UK Consumer Rights Act 2015 to reject a product if not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. In the context of a paid for assignment this will be difficult to establish against assignment briefs as marking has a degree of subjectivity. Essay mills seek to mitigate such problems through terms and conditions allowing for rewriting or some other form of offer or compensation. Similar consumer rights apply across Europe as the Act and Regulations are based on European Directives.

As Sutherland-Smith and Dullaghan have observed ( 2019 ), purchasers of contract cheating don’t always get what they pay for. Therefore, cancelation rights are a particularly useful addition to any express dispute resolution provided by the terms and conditions of the essay mill. Furthermore, a student may simply change their mind and cancel the order because of the risks attached to submission or their conscience gets the better of them or because of an institutional campaign or peer pressure or support.

The danger for a student is that they may forget, or may not feel they have been told at the outset when the contract is formed, that strict time limits normally apply to the use of statutory cancellation rights. This can limit their ability to raise a dispute with the essay mill.

In summary therefore, and subject to the point that rights and protections may not be available or enforceable in a cross-border context, a student has a right:

To cancel the order at any time before it is accepted and a contract formed

To cancel the contract under express cancellation rights but normally at a financial cost through loss of deposit or other recoverable loss

To cancel the contract under jurisdictional cancellation rights without financial cost unless expressly excluded in the circumstances described above

Institutional responses to the student right to withdraw

Although the paper has established that students have the legal rights of cancellation, it cannot be assumed that the essay mill will simply demur to the exercise of those rights. Therefore, it is recommended that institutions have their own responses prepared ready for when students wish to withdraw from contracts with essay mills.

Students do run the risk of blackmail and extortion if they proceed with a contract. They may discover the risk, ask to withdraw from their contract, but have such a request declined or ignored. They may also have used a contract cheating provider previously, not realising they would be expected to continue to purchase future pieces of work from them.

Universities should provide a mechanism for students to confess and to seek support. Students should be encouraged to use this. Such a mechanism would also be a welcome development for universities. Not only would it save considerable time and resources in investigations and hearings, but there is potential for accessing new intelligence about essay mills that would not otherwise have been found.

Sanctions to negate an unfair advantage are often unavoidable in such a situation. Students cannot be seen to be rewarded for assessments they did not complete themselves. However, in return for their cooperation, students could perhaps be taken through a less formal process, combined with a programme of support, guidance and monitoring, to ensure they are not tempted to do this again (QAA 2020 : 12–17). This might include, for example, a situation in which a student who confesses shortly after submitting a single commissioned assignment could be provided with the opportunity to redeem themselves, for instance by repeating the work, subject to measures such as grade caps designed to neutralise the potential for an unfair advantage.

In some cases, a light touch approach may not be possible. Consider, for example, a situation involving a final-year degree student confessing to having routinely commissioned over three or four (or more) years of study, with a progression dependent on pre-requisites from one year to the next. In addition, there might be course-specific regulations arising from professional institutional accreditation that over-ride more general regulations.

If a student does not confess, then they face serious and complicated risks. Put simply, once a student communicates with an essay mill, even if only making an enquiry, then that essay mill has some version of their identity and contact details on a database (possibly overseas) which is potentially available to other parties. Any commissioning and payment would provide additional details, irrespective of any subsequent change of mind. Even if a student manages to conceal their identity and their institution when commissioning an assignment, once that assignment is submitted through similarity checking software, then the student is potentially traceable. All a blackmailer needs to do is submit the assignment to the same similarity checking software themselves, possibly via a facilitator’s account or an account that’s been compromised, see which institution is identified as the main result, and then go ‘phishing’ at that institution, possibly with the assistance of a staff or student facilitator at that institution, Of course, if they’ve already unsuccessfully tried to blackmail the student, they might simply ‘whistle-blow’ to that institution with sufficient evidence to support the allegation. Essay mills are not famous for their ethical principles: they are interested in making money. A database of student details is a marketable commodity that could be traded to unscrupulous third parties, who themselves can engage in extortion.

Raising students’ awareness about these in-built dangers of engaging in contract cheating is not just part of the deterrence measures for educational providers, it is also part of their duty of care.

This paper serves to emphasise that a decision by a student to resort to contract cheating can be changed. That change of mind or heart is supported by the law and should be reflected in institutional regulations and policies. The right of students to change their mind is not a message that has been addressed in the literature or heard often in conferences or within institutions; but, nevertheless, it is important and needs to be discussed with students.

It should be possible for a student to change their mind and do so in way that offers them a degree of protection from the sharp and unscrupulous practices of essay mills, as identified in this paper. To benefit from that protection the student must disclose to the institution the arrangements they made with the essay mill. To do this will take a significant amount of courage on the part of a student. It is therefore critical that institutional regulations and policies provide a framework to enable and support such a decision, ideally with support from student organisations. In so doing, institutions need to uphold the fundamental aim of fostering academic integrity as a core value for all.

Availability of data and materials

No data was used in the writing of this article.

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essay mills to be banned

essay mills to be banned

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‘Unethical’ essay mills to be banned in England under Government plans

essay mills to be banned

Essay mills are set to be banned in England under plans to reform post-16 education.

The Government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain to university and college students.

Making essay mills illegal under new legislation will help protect students from falling prey to the “deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services”, the Department for Education (DfE) has said.

It is one of a number of measures being introduced to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill – which aims to transform further and technical education.

Careers education in schools will also be strengthened to ensure all pupils have opportunities to learn about all the technical education options available to them – including apprenticeships, T-levels and traineeships.

Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do

Skills Minister Alex Burghart

Skills Minister Alex Burghart said: “Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do.

“We are taking steps to ban these cheating services.

“We have also announced a new measure to make sure all young people receive broader careers guidance so everyone can get the advice that’s right for them.”

Essay mills, which are already illegal in some countries, make money by encouraging students to cheat in assessments.

Their services include providing students with ready-made essays to pass off as their own.

The Government hopes banning the services will help to safeguard the academic integrity and standards of post-16 and higher education in England.

It comes after former universities minister Chris Skidmore called for essay mill websites to be outlawed in February this year.

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In June, the Government pledged to work with politicians on proposed legislation around banning essay-writing services.

Tory frontbencher Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay told peers there is a “strong case” to support institutions in dealing with the rising number of essay mills.

The law will also be changed to give equality to technical education in careers advice in schools, so all pupils understand the wide range of routes and training available to them, not just academic routes.

Additional amendments to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which enters its report stage in the House of Lords on October 12, includes allowing more faith school providers to open post-16 academies with a religious character.

A Universities UK (UUK) spokeswoman said: “We welcome this news. UUK has repeatedly called for essay writing services to be made illegal and we have worked together with Government, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and other higher education bodies to tackle their use.

“While the use of essay mills by students is rare, all universities have codes of conduct that include severe penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own.

“Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues and are engaging with students from day-one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided.”

Gareth Crossman, head of policy and public affairs at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), said: “We’re delighted that the DfE has agreed to outlaw these unscrupulous outfits that threaten the integrity of UK higher education and prey on vulnerable students, and hope other UK Governments will also take action.

“This sends a clear signal but, with well over 1000 essay mills in operation, the sector must continue working together to put them out of business.”

A spokesperson for the National Union of Students (NUS) said: “These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation, and never more so than during the pandemic.

“NUS has called on the Government to take action against them in the past, and I hope they are finally listening.

“In the meantime, we would urge universities to put in place academic and pastoral support so that students are never in the position of feeling they have to turn to essay mills in the first place.”

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University bosses call for 'essay mill' companies ban

The services, which provide students with custom essays for them to cheat with, are not currently illegal.

Thursday 27 September 2018 12:17, UK

 on July 14, 2011 in Birmingham, England.

University chiefs are calling for so-called "essay mills" to be made illegal, amid fears they are undermining the integrity of degree courses.

The services, which are illegal in some countries, provide custom essays for students to cheat with.

As many as one in seven recent graduates may have cheated by using "essay mills" during the last four years, according to a recent study.

Students who get caught face punishment by their university, including possible disqualification, although it is not illegal for a company to offer the service.

The BBC reports that more than 40 vice-chancellors have written to the education secretary calling for those who provide the services, rather than students who use them, to be targeted by new laws.

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said the services could be outlawed

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: "Today's news on essay mills reveals the scale of the black market available to students - these services are normalising and enabling cheating, but also trying to devalue the quality of our degrees and put our world-class reputation at risk.

"University is all about learning, training your intellect and applying knowledge to a high standard. Students work incredibly hard to get a place at university and those who choose to cheat risk throwing it all away, cheating their futures, for the sake of a shortcut.

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"Students must not resort to cheating - it is not the solution for anyone who may be struggling on their course - the right thing is to speak to lecturers and get the right support.

"Legislative options are not off the table, but I also expect universities to be taking steps to tackle this issue - the OfS will take tough action if they fail to do so."

A parliamentary petition is already under way calling for essay mills to be banned.

Often the work can be difficult to identify as the essays are tailored for individual subjects and appear original.

A study by Swansea University published in August reviewed questionnaires dating back to 1978 where students were asked if they had ever paid for someone else to complete their work.

The findings - covering 54,514 participants - showed a 15.7% rise in the number of students who admitted cheating between 2014 and 2018.

In March the Advertising Standards Agency banned adverts for an essay writing company by failing to make it clear that the papers were not meant to be submitted by students as their own work.

Guernsey Press

‘Unethical’ essay mills to be banned in England under Government plans

Making essay-writing services illegal will protect students from ‘deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services’, the DfE says.

essay mills to be banned

Essay mills are set to be banned in England under plans to reform post-16 education.

The Government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain to university and college students.

Making essay mills illegal under new legislation will help protect students from falling prey to the “deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services”, the Department for Education (DfE) has said.

It is one of a number of measures being introduced to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill – which aims to transform further and technical education.

Careers education in schools will also be strengthened to ensure all pupils have opportunities to learn about all the technical education options available to them – including apprenticeships, T-levels and traineeships.

“We are taking steps to ban these cheating services.

“We have also announced a new measure to make sure all young people receive broader careers guidance so everyone can get the advice that’s right for them.”

Essay mills, which are already illegal in some countries, make money by encouraging students to cheat in assessments.

Their services include providing students with ready-made essays to pass off as their own.

The Government hopes banning the services will help to safeguard the academic integrity and standards of post-16 and higher education in England.

It comes after former universities minister Chris Skidmore called for essay mill websites to be outlawed in February this year.

In June, the Government pledged to work with politicians on proposed legislation around banning essay-writing services.

Tory frontbencher Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay told peers there is a “strong case” to support institutions in dealing with the rising number of essay mills.

The law will also be changed to give equality to technical education in careers advice in schools, so all pupils understand the wide range of routes and training available to them, not just academic routes.

Additional amendments to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which enters its report stage in the House of Lords on October 12, includes allowing more faith school providers to open post-16 academies with a religious character.

A Universities UK (UUK) spokeswoman said: “We welcome this news. UUK has repeatedly called for essay writing services to be made illegal and we have worked together with Government, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and other higher education bodies to tackle their use.

“While the use of essay mills by students is rare, all universities have codes of conduct that include severe penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own.

“Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues and are engaging with students from day-one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided.”

Gareth Crossman, head of policy and public affairs at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), said: “We’re delighted that the DfE has agreed to outlaw these unscrupulous outfits that threaten the integrity of UK higher education and prey on vulnerable students, and hope other UK Governments will also take action.

“This sends a clear signal but, with well over 1000 essay mills in operation, the sector must continue working together to put them out of business.”

A spokesperson for the National Union of Students (NUS) said: “These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation, and never more so than during the pandemic.

“NUS has called on the Government to take action against them in the past, and I hope they are finally listening.

“In the meantime, we would urge universities to put in place academic and pastoral support so that students are never in the position of feeling they have to turn to essay mills in the first place.”

essay mills to be banned

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Essay mills to be banned in England

O ffering essay-writing services to students for a fee will become a criminal offence under plans to tackle cheating by ‘essay mills’.

According to an announcement on Tuesday 5 October, it will be a crime in England to provide, arrange, or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain to university and college students.

Making essay mills illegal under new legislation will help protect students from falling prey to the “deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services”, the Department for Education (DfE) has said.

There are currently more than 1,000 essays mills in operation. A 2018 survey found that 15.7% of recent graduates admitted to cheating, although institutions claim that use of these services is rare.

The ban is one of a number of measures being introduced to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill , which aims to transform further and technical education.

Careers education at school will be strengthened, ensuring all pupils have the opportunity to learn about the technical education options available to them, including apprenticeships, T-levels, and traineeships.

Additional amendments include allowing more faith school providers to open post-16 academies with a religious character.

Alex Burghart, Minister for Skills, said: “Essay mills are completely unethical, and profit by undermining the hard work most students do. We are taking steps to ban these cheating services.

“We have also announced a new measure to make sure all young people receive broader careers guidance, so everyone can get the advice that’s right for them.”

The move has been welcomed by higher education bodies.

“These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation” – Spokesperson for the National Union of Students

Universities UK (UUK), which represents vice-chancellors, said: “While the use of essay mills by students is rare, all universities have codes of conduct that include severe penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own.

“Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues, and are engaging with students from day one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided.

Gareth Crossman, head of policy and public affairs at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), said: “We’re delighted that the DfE has agreed to outlaw these unscrupulous outfits that threaten the integrity of UK higher education and prey on vulnerable students, and hope other UK Governments will also take action.

“This sends a clear signal, but, with well over 1000 essay mills in operation, the sector must continue working together to put them out of business.”

A spokesperson for the National Union of Students (NUS) said: “These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation, and never more so than during the pandemic.

“NUS has called on the government to take action against them in the past, and I hope they are finally listening.

“In the meantime, we would urge universities to put in place academic and pastoral support so that students are never in the position of feeling they have to turn to essay mills in the first place.”

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Essay Mills and Contract Cheating from a Legal Point of View

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This chapter provides an overview and analysis of the operation of essay mills and contract cheating from a legal point of view through the lens of some of the countries that have either adopted or are considering the adoption of legislation in relation to essay mills. This chapter considers the rationale for legislation in the Republic of Ireland and Australia and the arguments for legislation to be introduced in the United Kingdom with the differences between the various enactments and proposals considered in addition to the issues of enforcement of laws resulting from the operation of essay mills across borders.

  • Essay mills
  • Contract cheating
  • Legislation
  • Rationale and enforcement

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The QQI “is an independent State agency responsible for promoting quality and accountability in education and training services in Ireland. It was established in 2012 by the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012” (QQI, 2018 ).

Further statements suggested that “Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and, most recently, Ireland have already taken action to make essay mills illegal in their countries, and the Quality Assurance Agency has been in close contact with the countries that have banned essay mills to monitor the effect of the ban. The ban is already making a difference. In Australia, following legislation, the Edubirdie, EssayShark, and Custom Writings websites, for instance, now all state ‘Our service is not available in your region;’ yet, in contrast, they all still thrive in the UK” (Skidmore, 2021, as cited in UK Parliament—Hansard, 2021 ).

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Draper, M. (2022). Essay Mills and Contract Cheating from a Legal Point of View. In: Eaton, S.E., Curtis, G.J., Stoesz, B.M., Clare, J., Rundle, K., Seeland, J. (eds) Contract Cheating in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-12680-2_4

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Essay mills: What are they, and why students should avoid them

Have you ever been stuck on what to write for your university entrance essay, or felt under pressure with the numerous deadlines looming and have no time to work on your thesis?  Maybe a friend has told you how they’ve used essay mills, or perhaps you’ve seen an ad yourself popping up on your screen while surfing the internet.

Essay mills, or “essay factories” , are businesses that offer a service to write an essay or term paper for students for a fee.

These are not your basic proofreading or editing services, but businesses where essays are written for you. They do extensive research, proofreading, citations, and deliver a final essay to the customer (i.e. you, the student), which you can credit as your own.

Essay mills are nothing new in this day and age, having started in the mid-1800s when students in fraternity houses shared term papers. Later in the 1950s, the lucrative business of ghostwriting evolved where writers wrote material on behalf of authors or celebrities. 

Specialised companies were set up near university campuses where students could walk in and purchase the services of a team of writers to do their essays for them. However, with the onset of technology and the internet, the essay mills business has mushroomed in recent years. 

Some students have opted to use essay mills to get their work done without the stress and pressure of researching and working on a paper themselves. These essay mills or essay factories are easily accessible and promoted via various social media and online platforms.

Gareth Crossman from Quality Assurance Association for Higher Education (QAA), an independent body that checks on standards and quality in UK higher education, told the BBC that one in seven college students  might be cheating  on their work. 

With essay mills, there’s a risk of bribery, while there’s no guarantee that the article purchased is of excellent quality. Source: Christina Quicler/AFP

International students whose English isn’t their first language may be tempted to use essay mills due to their lack of language skills or insecurities.

Despite that, they are highly unethical and can lead to students being found guilty of plagiarism and academic fraud. Nowadays, many universities and colleges use software such as Turnitin, which can easily spot any discrepancies or plagiarism in a student’s work. 

Some are even resorting to asking students to take oral examinations if it is suspected that they have not completed the work themselves. Ultimately, it’s best for students to avoid essay mills at all costs.

Students have an obligation to submit authentic work while at university, and understand how writing and researching for a paper is part and parcel of the learning journey. 

Taking the easy option of using essay mills services is for short gain only as students are essentially cheating and taking the credit for something that another person has worked on. To boot, there’s no guarantee that the article purchased is of excellent quality or free from plagiarism.

Suppose you are struggling with writing your term paper; why not consider taking some extra classes to improve your English language skills or talk to your university professor or counsellor for some valuable advice? 

There’s nothing quite like that feeling of pride and accomplishment of submitting work that you worked on yourself. After all, as the ancient Greek philosopher Sophocles once said, “Without labour, nothing prospers.”

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Facebook

Scams that impersonate well-known businesses and government agencies are consistently among the top frauds reported to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network. [1] In 2023, data from the FTC alone show more than 330,000 reports of business impersonation scams and nearly 160,000 reports of government impersonation scams. [2] That amounts to nearly half the frauds reported directly to the agency. [3] Combined, reported losses to these impersonation scams topped $1.1 billion for the year, more than three times what consumers reported in 2020. [4]

changing contact methods

While these types of scams aren’t new, reports tell us scammers have switched things up. Comparing 2020 to 2023, for example, reports of scams starting with a phone call have plummeted, while reports of scams starting with a text or email have increased. In that same period, people reported skyrocketing losses through bank transfer [5] and cryptocurrency. And reports show an increasingly blurred line between business and government impersonation scams: many scammers impersonate more than one organization in a single scam – for example, a fake Amazon employee might transfer you to a fake bank or even a fake FBI or FTC employee for fake help. [6]

While these scams come in many different forms, the top five described below account for nearly half of 2023 reports. [7]

1. Copycat account security alerts

Topping the list are messages about supposed suspicious activity or unauthorized charges. The message might say it’s from Amazon, alerting you that someone’s ordered a big-ticket item using your account. Or it might look like it’s your bank, asking you to verify a charge. These messages often include a phone number to call or ask you to text back YES or NO. Though scammers are convincing, it’s not really Amazon or your bank. It’s a scammer who says they can help fix the problem, which is also fake. What they tell you to do is really designed to steal your money. Often, this means transferring funds or loading cash into a Bitcoin ATM to “protect” it.   

2. Phony subscription renewals

Up next are scams that look like routine email notices that an account you never opened is about to auto-renew to the tune of hundreds of dollars. Often, they say it’s an account with Geek Squad. [8] Of course, it’s not really Geek Squad; it’s a scammer. If you call to sort it out, they’ll say they have to connect to your computer to process your “refund.” Once in, they make it look like too much money was refunded. They demand that you return the difference, often by buying gift cards and giving them the numbers on the back.

3. Fake giveaways, discounts, or money to claim

A message about a giveaway, discount, or free money may seem to come from a company you know – say, discounts from your internet provider, a giveaway from a big retailer, or sweepstakes winnings from Publishers Clearing House. Sometimes the so-called offer is about government money you can supposedly claim. These stories are all just another set-up to steal your money. The story ends with you buying gift cards or sending money to claim the deal, gift, or sweepstakes. And that’s always a sign of a scam.

changing payment methods

4. Bogus problems with the law

Scammers pretending to be government agents say your identity has been used to commit a serious crime – often, they claim, money laundering or drug smuggling. They then offer to help you fix the supposed problem, which always involves them telling you to move money or put it on gift cards. For example, many people reported being told to load cash into Bitcoin ATMs to supposedly protect their funds during a so-called investigation. The scammers even called these ATMs “safety lockers.” But this is another scam, and every part of the story is a lie. Money you move is money they steal.

5. Made - up package delivery problems

Messages pretending to be from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx say there’s a problem with a delivery. They include a link to a website that looks real – but isn’t. Some ask for your bank account details. Others ask you to pay a small “redelivery fee,” but if you do, the scammer now has your credit card information. And, reports tell us, these scammers quickly start racking up fraudulent charges.

All these scams have tactics that scammers hope give them an advantage. First, their messages look a lot like the messages real companies send: emails or texts about special deals and security alerts on your accounts. Second, they play on your emotions: if you’re worried about a problem or excited about a free gift, it can be harder to spot signs of a scam. Finally, they reframe their demands for money to avoid setting off alarm bells: people who’d never send money to a stranger have emptied their accounts, believing they were “protecting” their funds.

So how can you spot and avoid these scams?

  • Never click on links or respond to unexpected messages. If you think a story might be legit, contact the company or agency using a phone number or website you know is real. Don’t use the information in the message.
  • Don’t believe anyone who says you need to buy gift cards, use a Bitcoin ATM, or move money to protect it or fix a problem. Real businesses and government agencies will never do that – and anyone who asks is a scammer.
  • Slow down. Scammers want to rush you, so, again: stop and check it out. Before you do anything else, talk with someone you trust. Anyone who’s rushing you into paying or giving information is almost certainly a scammer.

Learn more about  impersonator scams . To spot and avoid scams – and learn how to recover money if you paid a scammer – visit  ftc.gov/scams . Report scams to the FTC at  ReportFraud.ftc.gov .

[1] In 2023, business imposter scams were the most reported fraud subcategory, and government imposter scams were the third most reported. These fraud subcategories also ranked among the top three most reported frauds in 2020, 2021, and 2022. This excludes reports categorized as unspecified.

[2] This figure and figures throughout this Spotlight are based on reports directly to the FTC. The combined number of business imposter and government imposter reports by year are as follows: 316K (2020), 529K (2021), 458K (2022), 487K (2023). Some reports are classified as both business imposter and government imposter. Because the vast majority of frauds are not reported to the government, these figures reflect just a small fraction of the public harm. See Anderson, K. B., To Whom Do Victims of Mass-Market Consumer Fraud Complain? at 1 (May 2021), available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3852323 (study showed only 4.8% of people who experienced mass-market consumer fraud complained to a Better Business Bureau or a government entity).

[3] Excluding reports classified as unspecified, 48% of reports directly to the FTC in 2023 were classified as business imposter or government imposter or both.

[4] The combined reported losses to business imposter and government imposter reports by year are as follows: $310M (2020), $673M (2021), $961M (2022), $1.1B (2023).

[5] "Bank transfer" refers to a payment category in Sentinel that includes bank wire transfers and ACH payments. Some consumers also select this option for Zelle payments.

[6] Reports about FTC impersonation have increased about five-fold since 2020. See FTC Consumer Alert, The FTC won’t demand money, threaten you, or promise you a prize (July 2023) available at  https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2023/07/ftc-wont-demand-money-threaten-you-or-promise-you-prize

[7] The top scam types were identified by hand-coding a random sample of 850 reports filed in 2023 classified as business imposter or government imposter that included a narrative describing the consumer’s experience.

[8] More people reported impersonation of Geek Squad in 2023 than any other impersonated company. The number of reports about Geek Squad impersonation increased over 100-fold from 2020 to 2023. These scams have contributed heavily to the rise of email as the most reported fraud contact method in 2023. See FTC Consumer Alert, How to recognize a fake Geek Squad renewal scam (October 2022) available at  https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2022/10/how-recognize-fake-geek-squad-renewal-scam . 

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As obesity rises, Big Food and dietitians push ‘anti-diet’ advice

General mills warns of ‘food shaming’; dietitian influencers promote junk foods and discourage weight loss efforts.

Jaye Rochon struggled to lose weight for years. But she felt as if a burden had lifted when she discovered YouTube influencers advocating “health at every size” — urging her to stop dieting and start listening to her “mental hunger.”

She stopped avoiding favorite foods such as cupcakes and Nutella. “They made me feel like I was safe eating whatever the hell I wanted,” said Rochon, 51, a video editor in Wausau, Wis. In two months, she regained 50 pounds. As her weight neared 300 pounds, she began to worry about her health.

The videos that Rochon encountered are part of the “anti-diet” movement, a social media juggernaut that began as an effort to combat weight stigma and an unhealthy obsession with thinness. But now global food marketers are seeking to cash in on the trend.

One company in particular, General Mills, maker of Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms cereals, has launched a multipronged campaign that capitalizes on the teachings of the anti-diet movement, an investigation by The Washington Post and The Examination, a nonprofit newsroom that covers global public health, has found.

General Mills has toured the country touting anti-diet research it claims proves the harms of “food shaming.” It has showered giveaways on registered dietitians who promote its cereals online with the hashtag #DerailTheShame, and sponsored influencers who promote its sugary snacks. The company has also enlisted a team of lobbyists and pushed back against federal policies that would add health information to food labels.

About this collaboration

essay mills to be banned

General Mills complies with federal regulations and “works closely with a variety of scientific, health, nutrition and other credentialed experts to ensure we provide accurate, evidence-based information,” said spokesperson Andrea Williamson.

Online dietitians — many of them backed by food makers — also are building lucrative followings by co-opting anti-diet messages. Anti-diet hashtags, such as #NoBadFoods, #FoodFreedom and #DitchTheDiet, have proliferated on social media.

The Post and The Examination analyzed more than 6,000 social media posts by 68 registered dietitians with at least 10,000 followers. The analysis showed that roughly 40 percent of these influencers, with a combined reach of more than 9 million followers, repeatedly used anti-diet language.

Most of the influencers who used anti-diet language also were paid to promote products from food, beverage and supplement companies, the analysis found.

The rapid spread of anti-diet messaging — and the alliance between some of the country’s registered dietitians and the food industry — has alarmed some in the public health community.

Since the 1980s, the U.S. obesity rate has more than doubled, according to federal data. Nearly half a million Americans die early each year as a result of excess body weight, according to estimates in a 2022 Lancet study .

The anti-diet approach essentially shifts accountability for the health crisis away from the food industry for creating ultra-processed junk foods laden with food additives, sugars and artificial sweeteners.

General Mills embraces anti-diet messaging

Amy Cohn, General Mills’ senior manager for nutrition and external affairs, promoted the cereal company’s anti-diet messaging to a room of registered dietitians at a national food conference this past fall. Cohn denounced the media for “pointing the finger at processed foods” and making consumers feel ashamed of their choices.

“You can help derail the cycle of shame,” Cohn told the dietitians.

During the session, Kathryn Lawson, a registered dietitian and director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the food giant Nestlé, tweeted: “People need to feel heard and seen to help break the cycle of shame when it comes to losing weight and eating.”

At least 10 registered dietitians promoted General Mills’ cereals in TikTok and Instagram posts last year, using the slogan #DerailTheShame while tagging the company in their posts. In some posts, dietitians show off personalized Cheerios boxes adorned with their names while they denounce “food shaming” of ready-to-eat cereals.

In a separate TikTok video published in November 2023, the self-described “anti-diet” dietitian Cara Harbstreet promoted the company’s “Big G” cereals, which include sugary brands such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs and Trix.

“I will always advocate for fearlessly nourishing meals, including cereal,” the Kansas City, Mo., dietitian told her followers in the video, which was labeled “#sponsored” and disclosed that she was working with General Mills. “Because everyone deserves to enjoy food without judgment, especially kids.”

@streetsmart.rd #sponsored Let’s do a little trip down memory lane in partnership with @General Mills ♬ original sound - Cara Harbstreet, Dietitian

Harbstreet said in an email she was “no longer actively partnering” with General Mills.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who recently co-sponsored legislation to help establish more prominent nutrition labeling on the front of food packages, said food companies’ adoption of anti-diet messaging is especially pernicious.

“I think it is really reprehensible for the food industry to prey on the vulnerabilities of people who suffer from diabetes or obesity or diseases that are caused by excessive sugar, fat and perhaps other ingredients that do them harm,” Blumenthal said. “To tell people they should be proud of eating the wrong things, that’s hardly doing them a service.”

How the food industry supports anti-diet dietitians

This past fall, following a separate Post and Examination investigation , the Federal Trade Commission cracked down on industry trade groups and a dozen nutrition influencers, flagging nearly three dozen social media posts that it said failed to clearly disclose who was paying the influencers to promote artificial sweeteners or sugary foods.

Numerous food companies continue to sponsor social media ads by outspoken anti-diet dietitians.

Dietitian Colleen Christensen posted a video of herself eating rocky road ice cream on her TikTok account @no.food.rules, in which she mocks low-calorie alternatives. She has made ads for pancake makers Kodiak Cakes and Premier Protein for her 300,000 followers.

@no.food.rules The healthiest= what you find most satisfying. #nofoodrules #intuitiveeating #foodfreedom #nondiet #antidietculture #antidiet ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

Lauren Smith, who calls herself a “food freedom dietitian” on TikTok, has posted ads for frozen pizza from a gluten-free brand, Banza , and for a high-protein snack company, Lorissa’s Kitchen , to her more than 70,000 followers.

Christensen didn’t respond to requests for comment. Smith said she only partners with brands that she uses herself and that align with her nutrition philosophy.

Harbstreet, the anti-diet dietitian who touted cereals for General Mills, also has posted ads for low-calorie sweetener Truvia , Barilla pasta and a whipped cake icing brand owned by Rich Foods.

Cargill, the parent company for Truvia, said in an email that the company does not focus on the anti-diet movement. “We engage with dietitians across diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise,” a spokesperson wrote.

“I think it is really reprehensible for the food industry to prey on the vulnerabilities of people who suffer from diabetes or obesity or diseases that are caused by excessive sugar, fat and perhaps other ingredients that do them harm.” — Sen. Richard Blumenthal

A spokesperson for Kodiak Cakes said in an email, “We have always seen beyond of-the-moment trends and prioritize the importance of protein and whole grains in a healthy, balanced lifestyle.”

Banza, Lorissa’s Kitchen, Rich Foods, Barilla and BellRing, which owns Premier Protein, did not respond to requests for comment.

The food industry’s close relationship with dietitians was on full display this past fall in Denver at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, the world’s largest gathering of registered dietitians. Dietitians noshed on vegetarian “bulgogi” samples from Beyond Meat and a pumpkin spice loaf made with the sugar substitute Splenda.

Next to Camp PepsiCo — the beverage giant’s summer-camp-themed booth — dietitians waited in line to climb a giant yellow General Mills cereal box and slide into a bowl of plushie Cheerios.

At a symposium, General Mills shared the results of a survey it funded about “food shaming” — defined as “making people feel bad about what they eat.”

The company said the research showed food shaming led to lower self-esteem and eating disorders and made people more likely to avoid the cereal aisle in grocery stores.

Cohn fielded a question from the audience about proposed Food and Drug Administration rules to label foods high in sugar, salt and fat.

“We’re doing everything we can to prevent that from happening,” she said. “Shaming is what I call it.”

The industry doubles down

General Mills has funded at least seven scientific studies since 2019 claiming that cereals are beneficial to consumers’ health. One review found that children who ate cereal, regardless of the sugar content, had healthier body weights than children who ate other breakfast food or skipped breakfast.

The company spent more than $2 million in 2022 and 2023 lobbying the federal government, according to data from OpenSecrets, a nonprofit group.

Efforts by the FDA to regulate food labels have sparked some of the fiercest opposition from General Mills and other leading cereal producers.

Last year, General Mills and fellow cereal giants Kellogg and Post Consumer Brands threatened legal action over a proposed rule to limit what they are allowed to promote as healthy. In a joint filing, the companies argued that the proposed restrictions would violate their First Amendment rights.

“They love putting ‘healthy’ in big, red letters,” Blumenthal said. “But when it comes down to the details — how much fat, how much sugar — they resist clarity like the plague.”

How the anti-diet movement has been distorted

Anti-diet proponents have been fighting against weight bias and diet culture for decades. The movement now known as Health at Every Size, or HAES, began in the 1960s as a grass-roots effort in tandem with other civil rights movements to promote equal access to health care, said Ani Janzen, the operations and projects leader for the Association for Size Diversity and Health, which holds the HAES trademark.

Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole, both registered dietitians, popularized the term “intuitive eating” with the publication of their 1995 book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach.” Intuitive eating urges followers to listen to their internal cues about hunger and is frequently used to help people with eating disorders.

In the past few years, academic interest in these anti-diet philosophies has surged. From 2019 to 2023, academic mentions of “anti-diet” tripled, according to a Post-Examination analysis of Google Scholar data.

An analysis of 1,500 TikTok videos using the hashtags #AntiDiet or #HealthAtEverySize by The Post and The Examination found that the most commonly discussed topics included eating disorders, dieting and weight loss.

Ice cream was the top food item mentioned across the TikTok data set, with dozens of videos defending the dessert as unfairly demonized by society, the Post-Examination analysis found.

In some videos made by anti-diet dietitians, creators say no foods should be labeled as “junk” or “unhealthy” because “all foods have value,” while showing snacks like Cheetos or candy brands like Reese’s and Twix.

But leaders of Health at Every Size say their work has been distorted on social media. The hashtag #HealthAtEverySize is often used to promote body positivity or suggest that “you can be healthy at any size,” Janzen said.

“Health at Every Size” is really about how weight bias has created a health-care system “that is harming fat people,” she said.

The wide appeal of Health at Every Size online allows it to be commercialized, said Angel Austin, interim executive director for the HAES association. “You have a lot of privileged people talking about Health at Every Size, unfortunately, because it’s profitable,” she said.

Resch, the co-founder of intuitive eating, said that big food companies touting anti-diet slogans are “just trying to make more money, and intuitive eating has been co-opted.”

Lifting the burden of diet culture

Health experts say the most worrisome trend among anti-diet influencers is the alarming amount of misinformation they spread, including claims that excess weight isn’t a health risk.

“Most chronic diseases blamed on weight can most likely be explained by other phenomena, such as weight stigma and weight cycling,” wrote Christy Harrison in her influential 2019 book, “Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating.”

Harrison, a registered dietitian and podcaster, said in an email that if she were writing the book today, she would use “more nuanced language.” She maintained her opposition to “intentional weight loss” and said she still believes that “many” chronic diseases linked to weight have other causes, citing research documenting the harms of stigma and dieting.

Deaths caused by obesity, diabetes, liver disease and hypertension have climbed to record highs over the past twenty years, and conditions that once only afflicted older adults are now increasingly present in young children .

Kevin C. Klatt, a registered dietitian and research scientist and instructor at the University of California at Berkeley, says anti-diet advocates who deny the connection between excess body fat and chronic disease have “made up stuff that is a fantasy and a total fairy tale.”

Nonetheless, anti-diet influencers have found a growing audience among millennial and Gen Z viewers, many grappling with the food fears and restricted eating practiced by their parents.

Casey Purlia Johnson, a fitness coach and social media influencer, said trying intuitive eating helped her develop a healthier relationship with food, after years of being obsessed with exercise and calorie restriction.

“We have all grown up around these crazy ideas about food,” Johnson said in an interview. She said her clients encounter a lot of misinformation around restricted eating. “They ask me on the phone, ‘Are you sure I can eat fruit?’”

While advocates say the anti-diet approach has brought a needed reprieve from the burdens of diet culture, others say the pendulum has swung too far, and the new anti-diet movement is hurting people at risk of health problems related to excess weight and a poor diet.

Misled by anti-diet messages

Rochon said she initially embraced a new ideology about nutrition after years of struggling with binge eating, weight loss efforts and hunger. Some of what she heard was based in fact. Studies show that restrictive dieting can significantly slow metabolism, a condition that can persist for years.

Rochon grew to believe that restricting food in any fashion would put her health in danger. Listening to mental hunger meant that if she was thinking about a food, she should eat it.

“Your relationship with food would just get magically healed, if you just ate the doughnuts and ate the cookies and weren’t afraid of what you were eating,” Rochon said.

As her weight increased, it began to take a toll. The risk of humiliation while navigating crowds or fitting into seats made her afraid of going out. When she attended a concert with her brother, climbing a flight of stairs was so difficult that it “stole my joy,” she said.

“As my body got bigger and bigger and bigger, I felt like my life just shrunk,” Rochon said.

Rochon said health concerns prompted her to start watching YouTube videos that challenged what she described as the “indoctrination” of the anti-diet and fat acceptance movements.

“I’m definitely out of the movement,” she said.

A few months ago, Rochon started her own YouTube channel, which has about 125 subscribers, in which she discusses her experience and her ongoing efforts to find a sustainable approach to nutrition.

“I don’t want my parents to bury me,” she said.

Jacob Mey, a dietitian and nutrition researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, said Rochon’s story is not unique. He said some of his clients have gained as much as 60 pounds in six months while working with anti-diet dietitians.

“It led them to get into the largest weight of their life,” Mey said. “The downside from a health perspective is exacerbating their obesity and potentially making worse their risk for other nutrition-related diseases.”

About this story

This report is part of a joint investigation by The Washington Post and The Examination, a new nonprofit newsroom specializing in global public health reporting. Sign up to get The Examination’s investigations in your inbox. Sign up for The Post’s Well+Being newsletter .

Story editing by Tara Parker-Pope and Raquel Rutledge. Data editing by Meghan Hoyer. Copy editing by Gaby Morera Di Núbila. Design by Chelsea Conrad. Photo editing by Maya Valentine. Visuals editing by Taylor Turner.

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essay mills to be banned

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Read the Florida Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Abortion Ban

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The Florida Supreme Court overturned decades of legal precedent in ruling that the State Constitution’s privacy protections do not extend to abortion, effectively allowing Florida to ban the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy.

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Supreme Court of Florida No. SC2022-1050 PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHWEST AND CENTRAL FLORIDA, et al., Petitioners, VS. STATE OF FLORIDA, et al., Respondents. No. SC2022-1127 PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHWEST AND CENTRAL FLORIDA, et al., Petitioners, VS. STATE OF FLORIDA, et al., Respondents. April 1, 2024 GROSSHANS, J. The Florida Constitution guarantees "the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into . . . private life.” Art. I,

§ 23, Fla. Const. In this case, we are asked to determine if there is a conflict between the rights secured by this provision and a recently amended statute that shortens the window of time in which a physician may perform an abortion. See ch. 2022-69, § 4, Laws of Fla. (codified at section 390.0111(1), Florida Statutes (2022)). The parties have presented thoughtful arguments as to the scope of this provision, which has traditionally been referred to as the “Privacy Clause." Those legal arguments on the Privacy Clause's meaning are, in our view, distinct from the serious moral, ethical, and policy issues that are implicated in the subject matter of this case. Our analysis focuses on the Privacy Clause’s text, its context, and the historical evidence surrounding its adoption. After considering each of these sources and consistent with longstanding principles of judicial deference to legislative enactments, we conclude there is no basis under the Privacy Clause to invalidate the statute. In doing so, we recede from our prior decisions in which-relying on reasoning the U.S. Supreme Court has rejectedwe held that the Privacy Clause guaranteed the right to receive an abortion through the end of the second trimester. See generally In re T.W., 551 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1989); N. Fla. Women's Health & - 2

Counseling Servs., Inc. v. State, 866 So. 2d 612 (Fla. 2003); Gainesville Woman Care, LLC v. State, 210 So. 3d 1243 (Fla. 2017). For this reason, petitioners are not entitled to the temporary injunction granted by the trial court, and we approve the outcome reached by the First District Court of Appeal below.1 I This case involves a constitutional challenge to an amended Florida statute prohibiting abortions “if the physician determines the gestational age of the fetus is more than 15 weeks." § 390.0111(1), Fla. Stat. (2022); ch. 2022-69, § 8, Laws of Fla. (providing effective date of July 1, 2022). This prohibition does not apply if any of the following occurs: (a) Two physicians certify in writing that, in reasonable medical judgment, the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to save the pregnant woman's life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition. (b) The physician certifies in writing that, in reasonable medical judgment, there is a medical necessity for legitimate emergency medical procedures for termination of the pregnancy to save the pregnant woman's life or avert a serious risk of imminent substantial and 1. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const. (express-and-direct conflict). - 3

irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition, and another physician is not available for consultation. (c) The fetus has not achieved viability under s. 390.01112 and two physicians certify in writing that, in reasonable medical judgment, the fetus has a fatal fetal abnormality. § 390.0111(1)(a)-(c). Prior to this change, the statute had restricted only late-term abortions. ² After this new law took effect, seven abortion clinics and one medical doctor (collectively Planned Parenthood)³ sued the State and others. Planned Parenthood alleged that the statute violated the Privacy Clause, which was added to the Florida Constitution in 1980. Located within the Declaration of Rights, the clause provides in full: 2. Specifically, the statute said, "No termination of pregnancy shall be performed on any human being in the third trimester of pregnancy unless one of [two] conditions is met." § 390.0111(1), Fla. Stat. (2021) (emphasis added). 3. The eight plaintiffs are Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida; Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida; Gainesville Woman Care, LLC; A Woman's Choice of Jacksonville, Inc.; Indian Rocks Woman's Center, Inc.; St. Petersburg Woman's Health Center, Inc.; Tampa Woman's Health Center, Inc.; and Dr. Shelly Hsiao-Ying Tien. - 4

SECTION 23. Right of privacy.-Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life except as otherwise provided herein. This section shall not be construed to limit the public's right of access to public records and meetings as provided by law. With the complaint, Planned Parenthood filed a motion for temporary injunction, asking the trial court to block enforcement of the statute until it could rule on the merits of the constitutional challenge. In part, Planned Parenthood claimed that it was substantially likely to prevail in the lawsuit because it could demonstrate that the statute violates the Privacy Clause. In addition, Planned Parenthood argued that pregnant Floridians would be irreparably harmed absent a temporary injunction because the statute "would prohibit [them] from obtaining essential medical care and force them to remain pregnant and continue enduring the risks of pregnancy against their will." The statute, Planned Parenthood said, would also cause irreparable harm to itself and its staff by subjecting them to potential punitive consequences and interfering with the doctor-patient relationship. The State opposed Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary injunction. It argued that Planned Parenthood lacked - 5

standing to assert the privacy rights of its patients and, on the merits, could not establish any of the four requirements for a temporary injunction, let alone all four.4 After the State submitted its response, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on abortion in a case involving a Mississippi statute. See Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org., 597 U.S. 215 (2022). In that decision, the Court ruled that the federal constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion. Id. at 231, 235-63, 292, 295. Based on this holding, the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)—cases which had recognized a broad right to abortion under federal law. Dobbs, 597 U.S. at 292, 302 (expressly overruling Roe and Casey). In overruling those decisions, Dobbs "returned to the people and their elected representatives" "the authority to regulate abortion." Id. at 292. 4. Under Florida law, a party seeking a temporary injunction must prove four things: “(1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, (2) the unavailability of an adequate remedy at law, (3) irreparable harm absent entry of an injunction, and (4) that the injunction would serve the public interest." Fla. Dep't of Health v. Florigrown, LLC, 317 So. 3d 1101, 1110 (Fla. 2021). - 6

Several days after Dobbs issued, the trial court in this case held an evidentiary hearing on Planned Parenthood's motion for temporary injunction. Planned Parenthood called one witness and offered several exhibits. The State also presented witness testimony and documentary evidence. Deeming Planned Parenthood's evidence persuasive, the trial court entered a temporary injunction. It found that Planned Parenthood had third-party standing and satisfied all four temporary-injunction elements. In finding a likelihood of success on the merits, the court relied on our abortion jurisprudence. See generally T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1191-94 (Privacy Clause encompasses abortion); N. Fla. Women's Health, 866 So. 2d at 639 (reaffirming T.W.); Gainesville Woman Care, 210 So. 3d at 1246, 1253-55 (relying on T.W.). The court concluded that the statute was subject to strict scrutiny under that case law and determined that it either did not serve compelling interests or, in the alternative, was not the least restrictive means of achieving those interests. For the harm factor, the court ruled that both Planned Parenthood and its patients would suffer sufficient harm to support the requested relief. Rounding out its analysis, the court found no -7

adequate remedy at law and that an injunction would serve the public interests. The State appealed to the First District, triggering an automatic stay of the temporary injunction.5 Planned Parenthood asked the trial court and later the district court to vacate the automatic stay. Both courts, however, denied relief. State v. Planned Parenthood of Sw. & Cent. Fla., 342 So. 3d 863, 865-66 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). As relevant here, in denying Planned Parenthood's motion to vacate, a divided panel of the First District held that Planned Parenthood could not establish irreparable harm as a result of the stay. Id. at 868-69. A few weeks later, the district court relied on essentially that same reasoning in reversing the temporary injunction—again, one judge dissented. State v. Planned Parenthood of Sw. & Cent. Fla., 344 So. 3d 637, 638 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022) ("[T]he non-final order granting the temporary injunction is reversed as [Planned Parenthood] could not assert irreparable harm on behalf of persons not appearing below."); id. (Kelsey, J., dissenting). 5. Fla. R. App. P. 9.310(b)(2) (automatic-stay provision triggered by filing of timely notice of appeal in certain situations). -8

Following these adverse rulings, Planned Parenthood asked us to review the First District's decisions, arguing that they conflict with our precedent. Accepting this jurisdictional argument, we granted review. II Planned Parenthood asks that we quash the district court's decisions and reinstate the temporary injunction. Relying on our precedent, it argues that the right to an abortion is secured by our constitution’s Privacy Clause. The State disputes Planned Parenthood's interpretation of the provision's text and asks us to reconsider our Privacy Clause jurisprudence or, at the very least, the abortion-related decisions. It argues that T.W.—our first case recognizing a right to abortion under the Privacy Clause-is flawed 6. In its brief, the State argues that Planned Parenthood lacks standing to challenge the new law. However, at oral argument, the Solicitor General urged us to decide this case on the merits. Oral Arg. at 50:52-51:06 (“We do think that the Court can assume for the sake of argument that the Plaintiffs have standing here and instead reach the merits. . . . That, I think, is what the Court should do.”). We view these statements as an abandonment of the State's standing argument. Thus, we proceed directly to the merits without passing upon any theory of standing articulated by the parties. - 9

in numerous respects, including that it failed to meaningfully consider the actual text of the provision at issue, failed to consider the history of the provision, and failed to give deference to the statute challenged in that case. Mindful of these fundamental concerns, we agree that our holding in T. W. should be reexamined.7 In T. W., this Court assessed a Privacy Clause challenge to a law that required unmarried minors to obtain parental consent or a substitute for consent to have an abortion. We held the challenged law to be incompatible with the protections afforded by the Privacy Clause, concluding that the right to abortion was embodied within the provision. T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1188, 1192-96; id. at 1197, 1201 7. As our discussion will show, we also emphasize the uniqueness of the competing interests implicated in abortion and the fact that the Supreme Court repudiated Roe and its underlying understanding of privacy. Because these factors relate to T. W. in a particularized way, we do not take up the State's invitation now to revisit the question of whether the Privacy Clause protects only "informational privacy" interests. Our jurisprudence before and after T. W. has understood the Privacy Clause to encompass certain decisional or autonomy rights, and today we do not revisit our precedents outside the abortion context. - 10

(Ehrlich, C.J., concurring specially).8 In the majority opinion, we discussed Roe v. Wade at length and ultimately adopted its definition of privacy along with its trimester and viability rules. See id. at 1190-94. Integral to the majority's analysis, T. W. emphasized recent Florida cases (primarily from the district courts) equating privacy with the right of personal decision-making in the specific context of refusing unwanted medical treatment. Id. at 1192. We also relied on Winfield v. Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, 477 So. 2d 544 (Fla. 1985)-a case involving privacy in financial institution records—to conclude that the provision “embraces more privacy interests" and "extends more protection to the individual in those interests, than does the federal Constitution." T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1192. Building on that, this Court made the following broad pronouncement: 8. Three justices, however, concluded that the challenged statute could be given a constitutional construction, though they accepted or assumed that the Privacy Clause conferred a right to abortion. T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1201-02 (Overton, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part); id. at 1202-04 (Grimes, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part); id. at 1204-05 (McDonald, J., dissenting). - 11 -

Florida's privacy provision is clearly implicated in a woman's decision of whether or not to continue her pregnancy. We can conceive of few more personal or private decisions concerning one's body that one can make in the course of a lifetime, except perhaps the decision of the terminally ill in their choice of whether to discontinue necessary medical treatment. Of all decisions a person makes about his or her body, the most profound and intimate relate to two sets of ultimate questions: first, whether, when, and how one's body is to become the vehicle for another human being's creation; second, when and how-this time there is no question of "whether"-one's body is to terminate its organic life. [Laurence H.] Tribe, American Constitutional Law 133738 (2d ed. 1988). The decision whether to obtain an abortion is fraught with specific physical, psychological, and economic implications of a uniquely personal nature for each woman. See Roe, 410 U.S. at 153. The Florida Constitution embodies the principle that “[f]ew decisions are more personal and intimate, more properly private, or more basic to individual dignity and autonomy, than a woman's decision . . . whether to end her pregnancy. A woman's right to make that choice freely is fundamental.” T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1192-93 (second alteration in original) (some citations omitted). This pronouncement was flawed in several respects. T. W. associated the language of the Privacy Clause with Roe's understanding of privacy; but it did not justify how that concept of privacy aligned with our constitution's text—i.e., “the right to be let alone and free from government intrusion into private life." T. W. - 12 -

also did not ask how Florida voters would have understood the text of the provision and how that understanding would be informed by Florida's long history of proscribing abortion. As a result of its analytical path, T. W. did not look to dictionaries, contextual clues, or historical sources bearing on the text's meaning. Instead, overlooking all these probative sources, it adopted Roe's notions of privacy and its trimester framework as matters of Florida constitutional law.9 Compounding these errors, the T.W. majority failed to apply longstanding principles of judicial deference to legislative enactments and failed to analyze whether the statute should be given the benefit of a presumption of constitutionality. Since Roe featured prominently in T. W., we think it fair to also point out that the T. W. majority did not examine or offer a reasoned response to the existing criticism of that decision or consider 9. In his dissent, Justice Labarga emphasizes "that T. W. was decided on state law grounds." Dissenting op. at 90. We agree that T.W. was not applying federal law to the challenged statute. However, T.W. relied heavily on Roe in interpreting the meaning of our constitution's Privacy Clause. Indeed, T. W. cited Roe over twenty times, it accepted Roe's concept of privacy without analysis, and it enacted a viability-trimester system that closely paralleled Roe's, without citing to any Florida precedent supporting that framework. - 13 -

whether it was doctrinally coherent. This was a significant misstep because Roe did not provide a settled definition of privacy rights. Controversial from the moment it was released, “Roe's constitutional analysis was far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the various constitutional provisions to which it vaguely pointed." Dobbs, 597 U.S. at 268. What's more, Roe "failed to ground its decision in text, history, or precedent.” Id. at 270. This left even progressive legal scholars baffled at how such a right could be gleaned from the constitution's text. Akhil R. Amar, Intratextualism, 112 Harv. L. Rev. 747, 778 (1999) ("As a precedent-follower, Roe simply stringcites a series of privacy cases involving marriage, procreation, contraception, bedroom reading, education, and other assorted topics, and then abruptly announces with no doctrinal analysis that this privacy right is broad enough to encompass' abortion. . . . But as the Court itself admits a few pages later [in the opinion], the existence of the living fetus makes the case at hand ‘inherently different’ . . . from every single one of these earlier-invoked cases. And as a precedent-setter, the Court creates an elaborate trimester framework that has struck many critics as visibly (indeed, nakedly) . . . more legislative than - 14 -

judicial." (footnotes omitted)); see also Laurence H. Tribe, Foreword: Toward a Model of Roles in the Due Process of Life and Law, 87 Harv. L. Rev. 1, 4 (1973) (noting that "[o]ne reads the Court's explanation [of the viability line] several times before becoming convinced that nothing has inadvertently been omitted”). Indeed, just three years after T.W. (and well before Dobbs), the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned Roe's position that the right to abortion was grounded in any sort of privacy right. See Casey, 505 U.S. at 846 (joint opinion) (“Constitutional protection of the woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy derives from the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."); cf. Dobbs, 597 U.S. at 279 ("The Court [in Casey] abandoned any reliance on a privacy right and instead grounded the abortion right entirely on the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause."). This demonstrates the tenuous connection between “privacy” and abortion an issue that, unlike other privacy matters, directly implicates the interests of both developing human life and the pregnant woman. In light of T. W.'s analytical deficiencies and subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions rejecting the Roe framework on which - 15 -

T.W.'s reasoning depended, our assessment of the challenged statute requires us to examine the Privacy Clause and, for the first time in the abortion context, consider the original public meaning of the text as it was understood by Florida voters in 1980.10 III A We begin by recognizing the standard that governs our review. Because this case requires us to review both “the constitutionality of a statute and the interpretation of a provision of the Florida Constitution," our review is de novo. Lewis v. Leon Cnty., 73 So. 3d 151, 153 (Fla. 2011) (citing Crist v. Fla. Ass’n of Crim. Def. Laws., Inc., 978 So. 2d 134, 139 (Fla. 2008)); see also Florigrown, LLC, 317 So. 3d at 1110. We have long recognized that “statutes come clothed with a presumption of constitutionality and must be construed whenever possible to effect a constitutional outcome." Lewis, 73 So. 3d at 10. We decided two other significant cases involving abortion after T. W., but in those cases, we did not provide additional doctrinal justifications for T.W.'s adoption of Roe's privacy framework. - 16

153 (citing Fla. Dep't of Revenue v. City of Gainesville, 918 So. 2d 250, 256 (Fla. 2005)). Indeed, nearly a century ago, we said: (1) On its face every act of the Legislature is presumed to be constitutional; (2) every doubt as to its constitutionality must be resolved in its favor; [and] (3) if the act admits of two interpretations, one of which would lead to its constitutionality and the other to its unconstitutionality, the former rather than the latter must be adopted . . . Gray v. Cent. Fla. Lumber Co., 140 So. 320, 323 (Fla. 1932); see also Savage v. Bd. of Pub. Instruction for Hillsborough Cnty., 133 So. 341, 344 (Fla. 1931); Chatlos v. Overstreet, 124 So. 2d 1, 2 (Fla. 1960); In re Caldwell's Estate, 247 So. 2d 1, 3 (Fla. 1971); Franklin v. State, 887 So. 2d 1063, 1073 (Fla. 2004); Florigrown, LLC, 317 So. 3d at 1111; Statler v. State, 349 So. 3d 873, 884 (Fla. 2022). And to overcome the presumption of constitutionality, “the invalidity must appear beyond reasonable doubt." Franklin, 887 So. 2d at 1073 (quoting State ex rel. Flink v. Canova, 94 So. 2d 181, 184 (Fla. 1957)); see also Waybright v. Duval Cnty., 196 So. 430, 432 (Fla. 1940) ("[W]e will . . . determine if, beyond a reasonable doubt, violence was done [to] any provisions of the organic law in the passage of the challenged act, and in doing so will not deal with the - 17 -

merits of the measure, that being the exclusive concern of the Legislature."). B Our approach to interpreting the constitution reflects a commitment to the supremacy-of-text principle, “recognizing that '[t]he words of a governing text are of paramount concern, and what they convey, in their context, is what the text means. Coates v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 365 So. 3d 353, 354 (Fla. 2023) (alteration in original) (quoting Levy v. Levy, 326 So. 3d 678, 681 (Fla. 2021)) (interpreting statutory text); see also Advisory Op. to Governor re Implementation of Amend. 4, The Voting Restoration Amend. (Amendment 4), 288 So. 3d 1070, 1081 (Fla. 2020) (interpreting constitutional text). The goal of this approach is to ascertain the original, public meaning of a constitutional provision-in other words, the meaning as understood by its ratifiers at the time of its adoption. See City of Tallahassee v. Fla. Police Benevolent Ass'n, Inc., 375 So. 3d 178, 183 (Fla. 2023) ("[W]e give the words of the constitution their plain, usual, ordinary, and commonly accepted meanings at the time they were written.”). In construing the meaning of a constitutional provision, we do not - 18 - 999

seek the original intent of the voters or the framers. Instead, we ask how the public would have understood the meaning of the text in its full context when the voters ratified it. See Amendment 4, 288 So. 3d at 1081-82. To answer this question of public meaning, we consider the text, see Alachua Cnty. v. Watson, 333 So. 3d 162, 169-70 (Fla. 2022), contextual clues, see id., dictionaries, see Somers v. United States, 355 So. 3d 887, 891 (Fla. 2022), canons of construction, see Conage v. United States, 346 So. 3d 594, 598-99 (Fla. 2022), and historical sources, including evidence related to public discussion, see Tomlinson v. State, 369 So. 3d 1142, 1147-51 (Fla. 2023); Dist. of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 614 (2008). IV With these background principles fixed, we now focus our attention on the Privacy Clause itself. Article I, section 23 is entitled: "Right of privacy." Our constitution, though, tells us that in construing the meaning of constitutional text, we are not to use titles and subtitles. See art. X, § 12(h), Fla. Const. Accordingly, we look at the operative text, which guarantees the right “to be let - 19 -

alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life." Art. I, § 23. As is apparent at first glance, the provision does not explicitly reference abortion at all. Thus, if Planned Parenthood is to prevail, we must find that the public would have understood the principle embodied in the operative text to encompass abortion, even though the clause itself says nothing about it. To this end, the parties have marshaled era-appropriate dictionary definitions of key terms in the Privacy Clause. Based on the dictionaries we consulted, we know that in 1980 the right to be "let alone" could be defined as the right to be left "in solitude," free from outside "interfer[ence]” or “attention." See Let Alone, Oxford English Dictionary 213 (1st ed. 1933) (reprinted in 1978). And the latter phrase "free from governmental intrusion” into “private life”—can convey a similar meaning. “Intrusion” meant “[i]llegal entry upon or appropriation." Intrusion, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 688 (1st ed. 1969); see also Intrusion, American Heritage Dictionary 674 (2d Coll. ed. 1982) (same); Intrude, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 687 (1st ed. 1969) ("To interpose (oneself or something) - 20 -

without invitation, fitness, or leave."); Intrude, American Heritage Dictionary 674 (2d Coll. ed. 1982) (similar). And the word "private" carried the idea of being "[s]ecluded from the sight, presence, or intrusion of others," the chief example being “a private bathroom." Private, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 1042 (1st ed. 1969); Private, American Heritage Dictionary 986 (2d Coll. ed. 1982) (same). These accepted definitions do not seem to us to be natural ways of describing the abortion procedures of 1980. The decision to have an abortion may have been made in solitude, but the procedure itself included medical intervention and required both the presence and intrusion of others. See, e.g., Roe, 410 U.S. at 172 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting) (“A transaction resulting in an operation such as [abortion] is not 'private' in the ordinary usage of that word."); Thornburgh v. Am. Coll. of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747, 792 (1986) (White, J., dissenting) (noting that even the Roe majority recognized a "pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy” because “the termination of a - 21

pregnancy typically involves the destruction of another entity: the fetus" (quoting Roe, 410 U.S. at 159)).11 Next, we see if contextual clues could offer guidance. Looking at the complete text of the provision allows us to consider the physical and logical relation of its parts, as they might have been viewed by a voter. See Lab'y Corp. of Am. v. Davis, 339 So. 3d 318, 324 (Fla. 2022). 11. The dissent cites Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) (invalidating on privacy grounds a state law criminalizing the use of contraception in the marital context), to support the assertion that the involvement of others does not prevent an activity or procedure from being a private matter. Dissenting op. at 67-68 (stressing that the law at issue in Griswold “operate[d] directly on an intimate relation of husband and wife and their physician's role in one aspect of that relation" (quoting Griswold, 381 U.S. at 482)). But the Court in Griswold "only invalidated the section of the state law which prohibited the use of contraception, rather than outlawing the manufacture, distribution, or sale of contraceptives." Alyson M. Cox & O. Carter Snead, “Grievously and Egregiously Wrong": American Abortion Jurisprudence, 26 Tex. Rev. L. & Pol. 1, 16-17 (2022). Indeed, as we noted above, Roe itself acknowledged that abortion was "inherently different" from the situations involved in cases like Griswold. Roe, 410 U.S. at 159. Thus, we do not share the dissent's concern "that parties will rely on the majority's reasoning that the involvement of 'others' in an abortion procedure defeats privacy—in attempts to undermine the broad privacy protections that are extended in the medical context.” Dissenting op. at 68. - 22

The first sentence sets forth the protected right, i.e., "to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into . . . private life." The second sentence then provides that “[t]his section shall not be construed to limit the public's right of access to public records and meetings as provided by law." Art. I, § 23. By its terms, this latter sentence covers “public records and meetings.” That phrase which relates only to accessing public informationdoes not implicate or apply to the subject of abortion. We do not give great weight to this observation, but we note it here to emphasize that contextual clues do not lend support to a claim that voters clearly understood abortion to be part and parcel of the rights recognized in the Privacy Clause. V Dictionary definitions and immediate context, although informative, do not provide a full picture of the text's meaning. We also consider the historical background of the phrases contained within the operative text. See Tomlinson, 369 So. 3d at 1146 ("[W]hen (as often happens) a word had more than one accepted meaning at that time, we decide which one is the law by looking to the context in which it appears, and what history tells us about - 23 -

how it got there."); Antonin Scalia & Bryan Garner, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts 33 (2012) ("[C]ontext embraces not just textual purpose but also . . . a word's historical associations acquired from recurrent patterns of past usage . ."); see also Heller, 554 U.S. at 605 (noting the critical importance in constitutional interpretation of examining “a variety of legal and other sources to determine the public understanding of a legal text in the period after its enactment or ratification"); TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, 594 U.S. 413, 424 (2021) (relying on historical sources in determining constitutional text's meaning); N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. 1, 26-27 (2022) (historical sources integral to Court's holding). A Before examining the Privacy Clause's specific history and public debate, we explore the settled use of the "right to be let alone" in the context of Florida law, cognizant that technical meanings might bear upon the public understanding of the constitutional text. 12 12. In construing constitutional provisions that have an acquired meaning, “[w]e cannot understand these provisions unless - 24

The phrase "to be let alone" carries with it a rich legal tradition. In Cason v. Baskin, we discussed the common-law right to privacy and explained that in substance it was "the right to be let alone, the right to live in a community without being held up to the public gaze if you don't want to be held up to the public gaze." 20 So. 2d 243, 248 (Fla. 1944) (quoting Laurence H. Eldredge, Modern Tort Problems 77 (1941)).¹3 This right “to be let alone,” which was we understand their history; and when we find them expressed in technical words, and words of art, we must suppose these words to be employed in their technical sense." Thomas M. Cooley, A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations which Rest upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union 93-94 (7th ed. 1903). Indeed, “[t]he technical sense in these cases is the sense popularly understood, because that is the sense fixed upon the words in legal and constitutional history where they have been employed for the protection of popular rights." Id. at 94 (emphasis added). 13. We recognize that this phrase “the right to be let alone” is likely sourced from the seminal 1890 law-review article, The Right to Privacy. Samuel D. Warren & Louis D. Brandeis, The Right to Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890); cf. Stall v. State, 570 So. 2d 257, 265 (Fla. 1990) (Kogan, J., dissenting) (recognizing significance of this article). The authors of that article elaborated on the "right to be let alone" and free from “intrusion upon the domestic circle." Warren & Brandeis, supra, at 195-96 (borrowing label for this right from a tort treatise by Judge Thomas Cooley). The right, however, “had little to do with the autonomy of an individual to make decisions . . . free from government control." Jeffrey M. Shaman, The Right of Privacy in State Constitutional Law, 37 Rutgers L.J. 971, 990 (2006). It described a "different sort of privacy"-one - 25 -

often used interchangeably with the "right to privacy," was a prominent feature in Florida tort law. See, e.g., Battaglia v. Adams, 164 So. 2d 195, 197 (Fla. 1964) (“An unauthorized use of a person's name in this respect is recognized as a violation of his right of privacy."); Jacova v. S. Radio & Television Co., 83 So. 2d 34, 36 (Fla. 1955) (reiterating that Florida recognized a common-law claim for invasion of privacy and noting that "[when] one, whether willingly or not, becomes an actor in an occurrence of public or general interest,” “he emerges from his seclusion, and it is not an invasion of his right of privacy' to publish his photograph with an account of such occurrence" (quoting Metter v. L.A. Exam'r, 95 P.2d 491, 494 (Cal. Ct. App. 1939))); Harms v. Mia. Daily News, Inc., 127 So. 2d 715, 717 (Fla. 3d DCA 1961) (noting in the tort context that "[t]he "directed to keeping personal information from being exposed to the public, rather than to keeping decision-making within the control of an individual." Id. To Warren and Brandeis, the “right to be let alone" and free from “intrusion" safe-guarded against the publication of private facts. Warren & Brandeis, supra, at 195-96, 207-12. - 26

right of privacy is defined as the right of an individual to be let alone and to live a life free from unwarranted publicity"). 14 Significantly, throughout the decades in which the "right to be let alone" was developed and applied in Florida, two distinct propositions were true in the law and harmonious: first, the right "to be let alone” existed and had a discernable and enforceable meaning; and second, the Legislature had the authority to comprehensively regulate abortion before and after viability. Indeed, from at least 1868 to 1972, abortion was for the most part prohibited in our state. 15 And although litigants, prior to the 14. Florida law in this respect appears consistent with that of other jurisdictions. See W.E. Shipley, Annotation, Right of Privacy, 14 A.L.R.2d 750 (1950) (noting acts of intrusion into one's private affairs may also constitute violations of the right of privacy, such as eavesdropping, examination of private records or papers, or publications of personal material identified with the complainant as would using the complainant's name or likeness in almost any form of distributive publication). 15. See ch. 1637, subc. 3, § 11, subc. 8, § 9, Laws of Fla. (1868) (outlawing most abortions); Rev. St. 1892, §§ 2387, 2618 (same); §§ 782.10, 797.01, Fla. Stat. (1941) (repealed 1972) (same); §§ 782.10, 797.01, Fla. Stat. (1971) (repealed 1972) (same). In 1972, this Court determined that the abortion statute in effect at that time was unconstitutionally vague. State v. Barquet, 262 So. 2d 431, 438 (Fla. 1972). Immediately following that decision, the Legislature passed a more specific law, still banning abortion at all times during pregnancy except in certain limited circumstances. - 27 -

adoption of the Privacy Clause, sought to curtail government action by arguing they had the "right to be let alone," we are not aware of litigants invoking that particular right to challenge abortion restrictions in Florida. We also stress that this “right to be let alone” was modified by a limiting principle: the right did not permit an individual to inflict harm on herself or others. See State v. Eitel, 227 So. 2d 489, 491 (Fla. 1969) (rejecting a challenge to helmet laws based on a right "to be let alone," stressing that "no person is an entirely isolated being" and that “it is impossible for a person to do anything seriously or permanently hurtful to himself, without mischief reaching at least to his near connections, and often far beyond them") (cleaned up). Indeed, our Privacy Clause jurisprudence outside the abortion context recognizes that the right does not authorize harm to third parties. See, e.g., Beagle v. Beagle, 678 So. 2d 1271, 1276 (Fla. 1996) (parents' privacy right to raise their children yields to need to protect children from harm). Because the "right to be let alone" was limited in this way, it is not surprising that when litigants Ch. 72-196, § 2, Laws of Fla. (codified at section 458.22 of the Florida Statutes (Supp. 1972)) (repealed 1976). - 28

challenged the 1972 abortion statute in this Court, they did not do so based on the "right to be let alone." Instead, they argued a right to privacy grounded in substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. See Barquet, 262 So. 2d at 434. B We also acknowledge that the public understanding of the term "privacy" was, to some extent, informed by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Following that decision, the phrase “right to privacy” gained new connotations that, for the first time, included the choice to have an abortion. See Roe, 410 U.S. at 154 ("We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision .”). In Planned Parenthood's view, this aspect of federal privacy jurisprudence should control our analysis here. Specifically, Planned Parenthood argues that Florida voters would have internalized Roe's definition of privacy when they voted for the privacy amendment. Indeed, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly asserted that the public understanding of this privacy definition was so engrained by 1980 that even without a specific mention of the term abortion, the Privacy Clause unequivocally - 29 -

included such a right by implication. Agreeing with this argument, the dissent cites case law, newspaper articles, a news clip, and more to support the contention that Americans, and Floridians in particular, would have naturally understood privacy to encompass abortion. 16 Though this argument has some force, we cannot agree with Planned Parenthood or the dissent that the backdrop of Roe conclusively establishes how a voter would have understood the provision. In Roe, the Supreme Court did not consider language comparable to the operative text of Florida's Privacy Clause-that is, the “right to be let alone.” That phrase is found only once in Roe, and that single mention is in Justice Stewart's concurrence quoting Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), in support of the proposition that there is no federal right to privacy. Roe, 410 U.S. 16. This evidence consists primarily of media coverage surrounding the Roe decision and subsequent evidence that discussed the abortion debate and associated a right of privacy with abortion. We accept that Roe had some bearing on the public's understanding of privacy rights in 1980. But, unlike the dissent, we do not find that it is dispositive. We are unwilling to disregard other probative evidence of public meaning, much of which is focused specifically on the amendment itself. The dissent, in our view, gives little attention to such evidence. - 30

at 167 n.2 (Stewart, J., concurring). So, while the Roe majority may have deemed abortion to be part of a “right to privacy," it would require an analytical leap to say that the public would have instinctively associated “the right to be let alone and free from governmental interference into one's private life" with abortion. E.g., Louis Henkin, Privacy and Autonomy, 74 Colum. L. Rev. 1410, 1424 (1974) (decisional autonomy “is not at all what most people mean by privacy,” which instead concerns “my freedom from official intrusion into my home, my person, my papers, my telephone”). This point is reinforced by the fact that the specific phrase used in the Privacy Clause had a consistent meaning in Florida law and had never once been interpreted to cover abortion rights. And as a final point here, we reiterate that Roe did not settle the scope of privacy rights as Planned Parenthood insists. As we discussed earlier, Roe's privacy-based reasoning was questioned soon after the opinion issued and was eventually rejected in a decision that completely detached abortion rights from the concept of privacy. See Casey, 505 U.S. at 846 (joint opinion). Thus, even if it is possible that voters would have understood the Privacy Clause to protect certain individual autonomy interests, it is by no means - 31

clear that those interests would have included the controversial subject of abortion, which uniquely involves the interests of prenatal life. Consequently, while Roe is relevant to our analysis of public meaning, it is not dispositive. Having considered dictionary definitions, context, and technical meanings that could have informed the original public meaning, we now turn to a critical piece of our historical analysis where we answer the following relevant questions: How did this provision make its way to the ballot, what was the focus of the debate surrounding its adoption, and how were the issues framed for the voters? C The origin of our Privacy Clause traces back to the work of a constitution revision commission in the late 1970s. As part of its work, the commission held public meetings throughout Florida and listened to the public's views and concerns. See Daniel R. Gordon, Upside Down Intentions: Weakening the State Constitutional Right to Privacy, a Florida Story of Intrigue and a Lack of Historical Integrity, 71 Temp. L. Rev. 579, 588 (1998); Transcript of Fla. C.R.C. proceedings at D:003272-73 (Jan. 9, 1978) (discussion of - 32 -

committee's work regarding privacy proposal). Eventually, the commission agreed upon the following language: Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into his private life except as otherwise provided herein. Patricia A. Dore, Of Rights Lost and Gained, 6 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 609, 650 n.248 (1978) (quoting Fla. C.R.C., Rev. Fla. Const. art. I, § 23 (May 11, 1978)). That proposed amendment, along with roughly 80 others, was submitted to the public as a package deal in the 1978 election. Gordon, supra, at 588. This package, in addition to containing the privacy proposal, also included amendments ensuring access to (1) public records, (2) meetings of non-judicial public bodies, (3) judicial hearings and records, and (4) proceedings and records of the judicial nominating commissions. Gerald B. Cope, Jr., To Be Let Alone: Florida's Proposed Right of Privacy, 6 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 671, 675-77 (1978). Of note, proposals specifically addressing state abortion rights were rejected by the commissioners and never made it to the ballot. See Fla. Const. Revision Comm'n, Summary of Proposed Revisions to the Florida Constitution 1-2 (Sept. 27, 1977) (available in the Florida State University College of Law Research - 33 -

Center); cf. Mary Ann Lindley, A New Constitution Takes Shape, Palm Beach Post-Times, Apr. 9, 1978, at D1. For our purposes, though, we focus on statements made by commissioners in describing the reason or need for the proposal.17 On this subject, Justice Overton said: [W]ho, ten years ago, really understood that personal and financial data on a substantial part of our population could be collected by government or business and held for easy distribution by computer operated information systems? There is a public concern about how personal information concerning an individual citizen is used, whether it be collected by government or by business. The subject of individual privacy and privacy law is in a developing stage. . . . It is a new problem that should probably be addressed. Transcript of Fla. C.R.C. proceedings D:000020-21 (July 6, 1977). 17. See McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 828-29 (2010) (Thomas, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment) (“When interpreting constitutional text, the goal is to discern the most likely public understanding of a particular provision at the time it was adopted. Statements by legislators can assist in this process to the extent they demonstrate the manner in which the public used or understood a particular word or phrase. They can further assist to the extent there is evidence that these statements were disseminated to the public. In other words, this evidence is useful not because it demonstrates what the draftsmen of the text may have been thinking, but only insofar as it illuminates what the public understood the words chosen by the draftsmen to mean.”). - 34 -

Justice Overton was not alone in this respect. Commissioner Jon Moyle (sponsor of the privacy proposal) spoke of government surveillance, technological advances, and society's dependence on such technology—characterizing them as threats to an individual's privacy. Transcript of Fla. C.R.C. proceedings at D:003273, 327678 (Jan. 9, 1978). He also noted that records about private life were becoming more common. Id. at D:003277-81. According to him, states were “very much involved in the business of keeping records about their residents.” Id. at D:003276. But the states, in his view, had not done “their part” in protecting such records. Id. at D:003277. In line with Commissioner Moyle's sentiments, Commissioners Lew Brantley and Dexter Douglass both noted specific government-surveillance efforts as sources of privacy concerns. Id. at D:003325 (remarks of Lew Brantley); id. at D:003336 (remarks of Dexter Douglass). This historical survey is illustrative of the commission's focus in terms of privacy. Various commissioners publicly expressed concern for informational privacy. However, as best as we can tell from their statements, that pressing concern did not extend to abortion. - 35

The proposals failed, and less than two years later, we held that there was no state constitutional right of privacy that would prevent public disclosure of confidential papers prepared by a consultant for an electric authority. Shevin v. Byron, Harless, Schaffer, Reid & Assocs., Inc., 379 So. 2d 633, 639 (Fla. 1980); cf. Laird v. State, 342 So. 2d 962, 963 (Fla. 1977) (no constitutional right of privacy to smoke marijuana in confines of home). Months after Shevin was decided, the Legislature revived the idea of a privacy clause and ultimately agreed on a proposal that said: Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into [the person's] private life except as otherwise provided herein. This section shall not be construed to limit the public's right of access to public records and meetings as provided by law. Editorial, Guaranteeing Our Privacy, Boca Raton News, Oct. 29, 1980, at 6A (setting forth language to appear on 1980 ballot); Patrick McMahon, State Constitutional Amendments, St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 30, 1980, at 22 (noting ballot title). In overwhelming numbers, legislators from both political parties voted to approve it for placement on the ballot. Out of the - 36

138 legislators who voted on it, only 6 did not support the proposal. See Lorraine Cichowski, House Votes to Propose Guaranteeing Right to Privacy, Fort Myers News-Press, May 7, 1980, at 8B; Jim Walker, Senators Clash over Privacy Amendment, Tampa Tribune, May 15, 1980, at 6-A. Of additional note, during the floor debate, there was virtually no discussion of abortion. And when abortion was brought up, the Senate sponsor assured other senators that the proposal would have no effect on that subject. Audio Tape: Proceedings of the Fla. S., Tape 2 at 17:40 (May 14, 1980) (available at Fla. Dep't of State, Fla. State Archives, Tallahassee, Fla., Series S1238, Box 57). As best as we can tell, no commissioner or legislator ever claimed (at least publicly between 1977-80) that abortion was part of the rights guaranteed by the Privacy Clause.¹8 See, e.g., Gordon, 18. To the extent that Planned Parenthood relies on Representative Jon Mills's later statement in the 1990s that he subjectively hoped that the privacy proposal would cover abortion, such reliance is misplaced. See Heller, 554 U.S. at 577 (proper approach to interpretation does not consider hidden or secret meaning "that would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the founding generation”). Similarly, Planned Parenthood and one amicus misplace reliance on how voters handled two later proposed amendments—one in 2004 and the other in 2012. The understanding of voters over 20 years after the privacy amendment offers little value in determining what the voters in 1980 would have understood the privacy proposal to mean. Indeed, at oral - 37 -

supra, at 590 n.148 ("Nowhere did revision commissioners in 1978 refer to abortion . ."). Indeed, Planned Parenthood does not claim otherwise. D Like the history of the privacy proposal, the public debate surrounding the amendment also did not focus on abortion. Once the privacy proposal was approved for placement on the ballot in 1980, the public engaged in significant and robust debate over whether that proposal should be approved. Advocates for homosexual rights, proponents of legalized marijuana use, and various editorial boards advocated in favor of the amendment. Mary Hladky, Commissioners Table Vote on State Privacy Amendment, Fort Lauderdale News, Oct. 1, 1980, at 8B; Mary Lavers, Privacy Amendment Advocated by Kunst, Tampa Times, Oct. 23, 1980, at 10-A; Associated Press, Privacy Amendment Caught in Swirl of Controversy, Sentinel Star (Orlando), Oct. 24, 1980, at 2-C; Editorial, Amendment 2-Vote Yes, argument, Planned Parenthood conceded as much. See Oral Arg. at 22:59-23:02 (“2012 isn't evidence of what [the privacy amendment] meant in 1980.”). - 38 -

Bradenton Herald, Nov. 1, 1980, at A-4; Craig Matsuda, State Questions Are a Mix of Roads, Water, Privacy, Miami Herald, Nov. 2, 1980, at 8E; Amendments, St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 1, 1980, at 12B. These groups presented sweeping views of what the amendment would accomplish. Some, for instance, claimed that the amendment would decriminalize marijuana as well as certain intimate sexual conduct occurring inside the confines of a home. Julius Karash, Psychologist Stumps for Amendment, News-Press Local, Oct. 3, 1980, at B1; Steve Piacente, Gay Rights Activist Speaks for Privacy Act, Tampa Tribune, Oct. 24, 1980, at 2-B. Opponents of the measure included some political conservatives, various law enforcement officers, an association of prosecutors, and the then-serving governor. Prosecutors Condemn Privacy Amendment, Florida Today, Oct. 28, 1980, at 4B; Attorneys' Group Fights Privacy Amendment, Palm Beach Post, Oct. 28, 1980, at B26; Amendments under Attack as Vote Nears, Bradenton Herald, Oct. 29, 1980, at B-5; Graham Hit on Privacy, Florida Today, Oct. 29, 1980, at 6B; Amendment Opposition by Graham Criticized, Palm Beach Post, Oct. 29, 1980, at A11; Lawyer Raps Constitution Revision Plan, Fort Lauderdale News, Oct. 29, 1980, at 17A; Michael - 39 -

Harrell, Advertisement, Fort Lauderdale News, Oct. 29, 1980, at 16A; Amendments, St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 1, 1980, at 12B. Some opponents expressed concern that the open-ended language would permit courts to expansively interpret the amendment. Sensing that growing concern, House sponsors of the privacy proposal weighed in on the public debate. Taking to the newspapers, they reassured the public that concerns about whether the amendment would accomplish sweeping policy changes were unfounded. For instance, sponsors said that the proposed amendment arose from concerns “about technological advances that could enable the government to compile extensive computer files on citizens." Privacy Amendment Caught in Swirl of Controversy, supra, at 2-C; see also Associated Press, Privacy Measure Stirs Controversy, Pensacola News-Journal, Nov. 2, 1980, at 14C. Indeed, one sponsor said that the proposal was "necessary to ward off a growing government whose curiosity about people's private lives also is increasing." R. Michael Anderson, Amendment Guaranteeing Right to Privacy Debated, Florida Times-Union Jacksonville Journal, Oct. 26, 1980, at B-1. That same sponsor characterized the proposal as "quite conservative," predicting that - 40 -

"Florida judges wouldn't use it to overturn many existing laws." Privacy Amendment Caught in Swirl of Controversy, supra, at 2-C. And the other sponsor called expansive views of the proposed amendment “garbage.” See id. Of note, in looking at the extensive discussion surrounding the privacy amendment, little to nothing was said about abortion in print or in public comment. The debate-as framed to the publicoverwhelmingly associated the Privacy Clause's terms with concerns related to government surveillance and disclosure of private information to the public. Consistent with this observation, prolife and prochoice groups did not join in the fray. These groups are not politically bashfulnot now, and not in 1980. If the public understanding of the privacy proposal was that it included a silent-but almost unfettered-right to abortion, we would expect such groups to have engaged in the robust public debate. But based on all sources brought to our attention, we simply see no evidence of that. See James W. Fox, Jr., A Historical and Originalist Defense of Abortion in Florida, 75 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 393, 443-44 (2023) (acknowledging that these groups were silent on this topic; but - 41 -

discounting significance of such fact); cf. Oral Arg. at 13:02-13:39 (counsel for Planned Parenthood acknowledging that silence in the historical record). The dissent downplays the significance of this scope-of-debate evidence. Dissenting op. at 86. Accepting the logic of a law review article, the dissent claims that “[a]bortion would only have been debated if its coverage within the right to privacy were in dispute or were not yet established in law." Dissenting op. at 86 (quoting Fox, supra, at 442-43). We, however, cannot agree with this speculation. A person's understanding of the amendment's purpose would certainly inform whether he or she supported the adoption of the amendment. And, critically, it would inform how that person would persuade others to adopt their position. The debate over the privacy amendment was vigorous, yet there is virtually no evidence that anyone publicly connected the privacy amendment proposal with abortion rights. And as referenced by the dissent, newspapers during this same period were still discussing the controversy surrounding abortion, so it was far from a settled issue. Dissenting op. at 81-82 (noting that "Florida newspapers" in 1980 "covered statements by pro-choice activists and by pro-life activists" - 42 -

involving the abortion debate). We are unwilling to presume, as the dissent does, that abortion was so intertwined with the term "privacy" and so unquestionably accepted by society that its complete absence from the public debate surrounding this amendment should be expected. In sum, the scope of the privacy-proposal debate, both in terms of topics and participants, underscores that the public would not have understood, or assumed, the language of the Privacy Clause to encompass abortion. E Finally, we consider two additional sources of historical evidence, both of which show a contemporaneous understanding that the Privacy Clause did not enshrine abortion rights in our constitution. The first is concurrent legislative action. There were several Florida statutes passed between 1978 and 1980 regulating or restricting access to abortion in substantial ways. See ch. 78382, §§ 2, 4-10, Laws of Fla. (empowering Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services to create rules regulating abortion clinics; setting forth licensing requirement and framework; prohibiting abortion by unlicensed clinics); ch. 79-302, § 1, Laws of - 43 -

Fla. (requiring parental consent for unmarried minors); ch. 80-208, § 1, Laws of Fla. (fetal remains to be disposed of in "sanitary and appropriate manner"; establishing crime for violations of this standard); ch. 80-413, § 1, Laws of Fla. (additional regulations on abortion clinics; imposing standard governing disposal of fetal remains); cf. Amicus Brief of Former State Representative John Grant at 25-28 (noting concurrent legislation on abortionparticularly the abortion law passed during the same session as the privacy proposal). Based on this significant body of abortion regulation—some of which would be struck down as violative of Roe¹⁹ it seems unlikely to us that the Legislature in 1980 would put to the people a proposal crafted to imperil that recent work. The second source of evidence is what legislators of the time expressed with respect to adding a right-to-life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. See Fla. S. Comm. on HRS SM 737 (1978) Staff Analysis 1 (Fla. May 9, 1978) (available at Fla. Dep’t of State, Fla. State Archives, Tallahassee, Fla.); Fla. H.R., H.M. 388, 11th Sess. (Fla. 1979) (available at Dep't of State, Fla. State Archives, 19. See, e.g., Fla. Women's Med. Clinic, Inc. v. Smith, 536 F. Supp. 1048, 1059 (S.D. Fla. 1982). - 44 -

Tallahassee, Fla.); Fla. S., S.M. 118, 11th Sess. (Fla. 1979) (available at Fla. Dep't of State, Fla. State Archives, Tallahassee, Fla.). Of significance here, twenty-seven legislators who voted for the privacy proposal had, within the prior two years, openly supported the adoption of a federal amendment to "protect unborn human[s]” in response to Roe v. Wade. Compare H.R. Journal, 12th Sess., at 318 (Fla. 1980), with H.R. Journal, 11th Sess., at 48 (Fla. 1979); compare S. Journal, 11th Sess., at 21 (Fla. 1979), with S. Journal, 12th Sess., at 313 (Fla. 1980). To us, it seems quite unlikely that so many legislators would have tried to remove abortion rights as a matter of federal constitutional law only to restrict legislative power on abortion just two years later by way of a state constitutional amendment. F We pause to summarize the textual, contextual, and historical evidence we have discussed so far. The Privacy Clause of the Florida Constitution does not mention abortion or include a word or phrase that clearly incorporates it. Era-appropriate dictionary definitions and contextual clues suggest that abortion does not naturally fit within the rights at issue. Reliable historical sources, - 45 -

like the technical meaning of the terms contained in the provision, the origin of the amendment, and the framing of the public debate, similarly do not support a conclusion that abortion should be read into the provision's text. Roe is also relevant to our analysis of the public meaning of the Privacy Clause. But speculation as to Roe's effect on voter understanding does not overcome the combined force of the substantial evidence we have examined above. Thus, we cannot conclude that in 1980 a voter would have assumed the text encompassed a polarizing definition of privacy that included broad protections for abortion. VI We have established the background legal principles that govern our review and analyzed the original public meaning of the Privacy Clause as it relates to the subject of abortion. Now, we must address how those considerations apply here-namely, can Planned Parenthood demonstrate conflict between the challenged statute and the constitutional protections secured by the Privacy Clause? The statute we review prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, subject to certain exceptions. This statute "come[s] - 46 -

clothed with a presumption of constitutionality and must be construed" if possible "to effect a constitutional outcome." Crist, 978 So. 2d at 139. To overcome this presumption, the challenger must establish invalidity (or conflict) "beyond reasonable doubt." Id. Based on our analysis finding no clear right to abortion embodied within the Privacy Clause, Planned Parenthood cannot overcome the presumption of constitutionality and is unable to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the 15-week ban is unconstitutional. 20 This conclusion brings us into tension with our precedent, primarily T. W. in which we derived a right to abortion from the Privacy Clause's text and invalidated a statute on that basis. 551 So. 2d at 1188; see also N. Fla. Women's Health, 866 So. 2d at 639 (reaffirming T.W.); Gainesville Woman Care, 210 So. 3d at 1253-56, 20. Even if we gave significantly greater weight to Roe's effect on the original public meaning of the Privacy Clause (as urged by the dissent) and gave less weight to the other meaningful sources of evidence discussed above, we would still be left without a definition of privacy and considerable ambiguity as to the breadth of the provision. In that instance, we would reach the same conclusion, because a statute is presumed constitutional unless shown to be invalid beyond a reasonable doubt. Franklin, 887 So. 2d at 1073. The dissent fails to address what effect, if any, this longstanding principle of law should have here. - 47 -

1260 (relying on T.W.). In deciding how to resolve that tension, we again emphasize that T. W. failed to acknowledge the longstanding principle that statutes are presumed to be constitutional. This error led the Court to read additional rights into the constitution based on Roe's dubious and immediately contested reasoning, rather than evaluate what the text of the provision actually said or what the people of Florida understood those words to mean. The decision to extend the protections of the Privacy Clause beyond what the text could reasonably bear was not ours to make. As a result, we removed substantial authority from the people's elected representatives to regulate abortion-a profoundly unique and complicated issue that affects society in many significant ways. Accordingly, for the reasons given above, we find T.W. to be clearly erroneous. Based on our established test for assessing stare-decisis issues, we now ask whether there is a valid reason not to recede from T.W. See State v. Poole, 297 So. 3d 487, 506-07 (Fla. 2020) (outlining a two-part framework on stare-decisis issues). We have said that reliance is a critical consideration. Id. But as noted by the State, the Supreme Court's reasoning in Dobbs shows why reliance does not justify keeping T.W. In conducting a - 48 -

stare-decisis analysis in that case, the Supreme Court stressed that "[t]raditional reliance interests arise where advance planning of great precision is most obviously a necessity.'” Dobbs, 597 U.S. at 287 (first quoting Casey, 505 U.S. at 856 (joint opinion); and then citing Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 828 (1991)). The Court went on to state that “those traditional reliance interests [a]re not implicated because getting an abortion is generally ‘unplanned activity,' and ‘reproductive planning could take virtually immediate account of any sudden restoration of state authority to ban abortions."" Id. at 288 (quoting Casey, 505 U.S. at 856). Finally, the Court rejected application of a more malleable and undefined form of reliance that focused on the relative social and economic effects of abortion. Id. at 288-89. In its view, this type of reliance was irrelevant to a proper stare-decisis framework. Id. We think that this analysis from Dobbs is in keeping with Poole. Indeed, in Poole, we expressed wariness for tests that are "malleable and do not lend themselves to objective, consistent, and predictable application." 297 So. 3d at 507 (criticizing North Florida Women's Health's multi-factor stare-decisis framework). And in the years since Poole issued, we have not employed the more malleable - 49 -

form of reliance that Dobbs declined to apply—the same sort of societal reliance interests now being advanced by Planned Parenthood. Apart from arguing reliance, Planned Parenthood does not offer any other valid reasons for keeping T.W. Accordingly, because Planned Parenthood has failed to demonstrate a valid reason for retaining T. W., we recede from it. We also recede from Gainesville Woman Care and North Florida Women's Health, which both applied T.W.'s flawed reasoning and offered no additional doctrinal justification for locating a right to abortion in the Privacy Clause. VII We now return to the specific facts of this case. Below, the trial court granted a temporary injunction, finding that Planned Parenthood would likely succeed in its constitutional challenge. Our holding, however, displaces the doctrinal justification for the trial court's decision. Planned Parenthood cannot demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of its claim, which alleged that the newly enacted statute was facially invalid under the Privacy Clause of the Florida Constitution. And since Planned Parenthood fails on this prong, it is not entitled to a temporary injunction. - 50 -

Although we do not adopt the reasoning of the First District, we approve the result it reached below. It is so ordered. MUÑIZ, C.J., and CANADY, COURIEL, and FRANCIS, JJ., concur. SASSO, J., concurs with an opinion. LABARGA, J., dissents with an opinion. NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED. SASSO, J., concurring. I join the majority opinion because it correctly holds that the Florida Constitution does not contain a right to elective abortion. I write separately to explain why I believe it is appropriate to reach that decision considering the standing arguments raised by the State in the lower court proceedings and on appeal and as highlighted by Amici in this Court. In doing so, I will start with some observations regarding this Court's standing jurisprudence. I will then explain why I agree with the majority's decision to accept the State's waiver of any standing arguments here. Finally, I will explain why I believe, in the proper case, this Court should reconsider its standing precedent. - 51 -

I. Standing is the legal doctrine that defines when a litigant has a stake in a controversy sufficient to obtain judicial resolution of that controversy. The doctrine keeps us in our constitutional lane by ensuring we do not become “roving commissions assigned to pass judgment on the validity of the [State's] laws." See Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U.S. 601, 611 (1973). At the federal level, standing requirements are derived from Article III of the United States Constitution's Case or Controversy Clause. Constitutional in origin, standing is therefore a jurisdictional prerequisite to a plaintiff's right to sue in federal court. See Indus. Servs. Grp., Inc. v. Dobson, 68 F.4th 155, 167 (4th Cir. 2023) ("It is axiomatic that standing is a threshold jurisdictional issue that must be determined before a court can consider the merits of a case." (citing Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 88 (1998))). For that reason, federal courts have the ability, and indeed the obligation, to address standing sua sponte even if a defendant has not raised the issue. See United States v. Hays, 515 U.S. 737, 742 (1995) ("[W]e are required to address [standing] even if the courts - 52 -

below have not passed on it, and even if the parties fail to raise the issue before us." (first alteration in original) (quoting FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 493 U.S. 215, 230-31 (1990))); Cent. States Se. & Sw. Areas Health & Welfare Fund v. Merck-Medco Managed Care, L.L.C., 433 F.3d 181, 198 (2d Cir. 2005) ("Because the standing issue goes to this Court's subject matter jurisdiction, it can be raised sua sponte."). Likewise, the question of standing is not subject to waiver. Hays, 515 U.S. at 742. At the state level, it is different. As it relates to standing, the Florida Constitution is textually distinct from the Federal Constitution because it does not contain an explicit cases and controversies clause. It should go without saying, then, that federal law does not control standing requirements in state courts. See ASARCO Inc. v. Kadish, 490 U.S. 605, 617 (1989) (noting that the constraints of Article III do not apply to state courts, and accordingly state courts are not bound by the limitations of a case or controversy). Even so, this Court has at times reflexively adopted federal standing tests without examining whether the Florida Constitution demands similar requirements. See, e.g., State v. J.P., 907 So. 2d 1101, 1113 n.4 (Fla. 2004) (adopting three-part standing - 53 -

test established by the United States Supreme Court in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992)); Alterra Healthcare Corp. v. Est. of Shelley, 827 So. 2d 936, 941 (Fla. 2002) (adopting thirdparty standing test recognized by the United States Supreme Court). We have not done so consistently, though. At times, we have concluded that standing in Florida is less restrictive than at the federal level. For example, in Department of Revenue v. Kuhnlein, 646 So. 2d 717, 720 (Fla. 1994), we said that the doctrine of standing does not exist in Florida "in the rigid sense employed in the federal system." See also Coal. for Adequacy & Fairness in Sch. Funding, Inc. v. Chiles, 680 So. 2d 400, 403 (Fla. 1996) (noting that in Florida, unlike the federal system, the doctrine of standing has not been rigidly followed). Consistent with this observation, we have sometimes applied state-specific standing rules. See, e.g., Johnson v. State, 78 So. 3d 1305, 1314 (Fla. 2012) (holding a litigant has standing if "he or she reasonably expects to be affected by the outcome of the proceedings, either directly or indirectly” (quoting Hayes v. Guardianship of Thompson, 952 So. 2d 498, 505 (Fla. 2006))). Other times we have, either explicitly or implicitly, - 54 -

bypassed a standing analysis altogether. See, e.g., J.P., 907 So. 2d at 1113 ("Because the Second District never determined whether these juveniles have standing to assert the constitutional rights of their parents, we decline to rule on these claims." (footnote omitted)).21 Our inconsistent approach is especially evident in the context of third-party standing. Traditionally, this Court considered as well-settled the rule that one who is not himself denied some constitutional right or privilege cannot be heard to raise constitutional questions on behalf of some other person who may at some future time be affected. See, e.g., Steele v. Freel, 25 So. 2d 501, 503 (Fla. 1946). Eventually, though, we carved out exceptions. For example, in Jones v. State, 640 So. 2d 1084 (Fla. 1994), we determined that criminal defendants could raise the privacy rights 21. Despite the inconsistent application of various tests to determine whether a party has standing to pursue its claims, our standing precedent has been steady in one respect. We have always held that standing can be waived. See, e.g., Krivanek v. Take Back Tampa Pol. Comm., 625 So. 2d 840, 842 (Fla. 1993); Cowart v. City of West Palm Beach, 255 So. 2d 673, 675 (Fla. 1971). However, this is somewhat logically inconsistent, because we oftentimes have adopted federal standards ostensibly derived from the Federal Constitution without adopting the corresponding rule that standing is jurisdictional in nature and therefore not subject to waiver. - 55 -

of the female minors with whom they had sexual relations because the criminal defendants "st[oo]d to lose from the outcome of this case and yet they ha[d] no other effective avenue for preserving their rights." Id. at 1085 (referencing Stall v. State, 570 So. 2d 257 (Fla. 1990), for "vicarious standing" requirements). Later, in Alterra, we applied a federal test to determine when parties can sue on behalf of rights belonging to others. 827 So. 2d at 941-42. The test, as laid out in Alterra, goes like this: a litigant may bring an action on behalf of a third party if 1) the litigant suffered an “injury in fact,” thus giving him or her a "sufficiently concrete interest" in the outcome of the issue in dispute; 2) the litigant has a close relation to the third party; and 3) there is some hindrance to the third party's ability to protect his or her own interests. Id. (quoting Powers v. Ohio, 499 U.S. 400, 410-11 (1991)). But we applied this test in Alterra without explicitly adopting it as doctrine and without addressing our previous application of the Stall standard in Jones. Only a year after Alterra was decided, we again backed away from applying federal standing tests at all in Allstate Insurance Co. v. Kaklamanos, 843 So. 2d 885 (Fla. 2003). There, we reiterated - 56

that the doctrine of standing does not exist in Florida "in the rigid sense employed in the federal system." Id. at 895 (quoting Kuhnlein, 646 So. 2d at 720). This made room for our conclusion that an insured could maintain an action against the insurer for nonpayment of personal injury protection automotive insurance benefits even though the insured had not paid the medical bills in question and the medical provider had not instituted legal action against the insured for nonpayment. Id. at 897. And later, we appeared to cabin Alterra to the employment context in Weaver v. Myers, 229 So. 3d 1118, 1129 (Fla. 2017). In that same case, we also cited favorably the “vicarious standing" test from Jones, a case that preceded Alterra.2² Id. 22. Our doctrinal inconsistency in third-party standing cases is not the only aspect of our standing jurisprudence that has been unclear. For example, as noted above we adopted the three-part standing test established by the United States Supreme Court in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, in J.P. But a few years later in Johnson, we stated broadly that “standing ‘requires a would-be litigant to demonstrate that he or she reasonably expects to be affected by the outcome of the proceedings, either directly or indirectly.'" 78 So. 3d at 1314 (quoting Hayes, 952 So. 2d at 505). We did so without any reference to our previous adoption of the Lujan test and over the dissenting justices' observation that the moving party would have met that standing requirement. And although we have, with more consistency, adhered to the Rickman v. Whitehurst, 74 So. 205 (Fla. 1917), rule when litigants have - 57 -

II. With that background in mind, I now return to this case. It serves as a prime example of the challenges our doctrinal inconsistencies create for litigants and lower courts. In the trial court, the State argued Planned Parenthood lacked standing to challenge HB 5 because none of the plaintiffs could assert a personal right to privacy—instead, the plaintiffs sought to assert the privacy rights of their patients and/or customers. Working off the Alterra test, the State then argued Planned Parenthood could not meet the requirements for overcoming the general bar to third-party standing. In doing so, though, the State conceded that the second prong of the Alterra test (the close relationship requirement) was satisfied. In response, Planned Parenthood accepted the State's framing of the issue, arguing it could satisfy the Alterra test. This framework carried over to the trial court's order granting the challenged government action, we continue to carve out exceptions without a textual explanation justifying a new exception. See, e.g., Dep't of Admin. v. Horne, 269 So. 2d 659 (Fla. 1972) (citing federal precedent to carve out exception for "ordinary citizens and taxpayers" to pursue constitutional claims in certain circumstances even absent a showing of special injury to themselves). - 58 -

temporary injunction, where it applied the Alterra test and concluded that Planned Parenthood has "third-party standing to bring this suit on behalf of their actual and potential patients." Planned Parenthood of Sw. & Cent. Fla. v. State, No. 2022-CA-912, 2022 WL 2436704, at *17 (Fla. 2d Cir. Ct. July 5, 2022). But, in the First District, the court concluded that it did not need to address Petitioners' standing argument. Instead, the First District decided that Petitioners had not suffered irreparable harm sufficient to support the issuance of a temporary injunction. State v. Planned Parenthood of Sw. & Cent. Fla., 342 So. 3d 863, 867-68 (Fla. 1st DCA 2022). That takes us to the parties' briefing filed in this Court. The State reasserted its argument as to Planned Parenthood's standing to pursue its claims. But as the majority opinion notes, the State essentially conceded the issue of standing at oral argument, urging this Court to reach the merits. So why do we accept that concession? First, as the majority notes, this case has been litigated under the umbrella of this Court's abortion jurisprudence. See, e.g., Gainesville Woman Care, LLC v. State, 210 So. 3d 1243, 1253-54 (Fla. 2017); N. Fla. Women's - 59 -

Health & Counseling Servs., Inc. v. State, 866 So. 2d 612, 620 (Fla. 2003); In re T. W., 551 So. 2d 1186, 1188-89 (Fla. 1989). And our abortion jurisprudence falls into the category of cases where we have, without explaining why, skipped over a standing analysis altogether. As a result, we have neither directly addressed standing nor applied the Alterra test in any of our abortion cases. Instead, to the extent standing was considered, we seem to have collapsed the analysis into the grounds for obtaining a temporary injunction without considering which standing test to apply or whether an abortion provider can meet that test. See Gainesville Woman Care, 210 So. 3d at 1247 (“Petitioners have established a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, one of the requirements of granting a temporary injunction, as well as all other grounds for the entry of a temporary injunction.” (emphasis added)). For that reason, addressing standing alone here would have only added to the inconsistencies in our cases. Second, both parties have asked us to apply the federal thirdparty standing test as applied in Alterra. But as explained above, we have applied that test once. And, for many reasons, I question the wisdom of perpetuating the standard here. For one, I do not - 60

think we should apply federal standards to textually distinct provisions of the Florida Constitution without considering whether that standard is independently justified on state law grounds. For another, reflexively adopting the federal third-party standing test is particularly troublesome because, in federal courts, it has been inconsistently applied and widely criticized. See, e.g., June Med. Servs. L. L. C. v. Russo, 140 S. Ct. 2103, 2142-46 (2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting) (noting the test's inconsistent application, criticizing the characterization of third-party standing as prudential in nature, and concluding that third-party standing is inconsistent with the case-or-controversy requirement of Article III). Finally, and critically, neither party has challenged our characterization of standing as waivable rather than jurisdictional. Similarly, no party has offered an alternative standard to apply in the absence of Alterra or an argument as to whether Planned Parenthood fails to meet any alternative standard. As a result, I believe this Court properly reaches the merits of this case. III. While the State's concession takes care of this case, in future cases we should reconsider our standing precedents. Most - 61

fundamentally, we should consider from where our standing requirements are derived (spoiler alert-it is not the Federal Constitution). For example, is standing in Florida derived only from article V's conception of "judicial power"? See, e.g., Sons of Confederate Veterans v. Henry Cnty. Bd. of Comm'rs, 880 S.E.2d 168, 185-86 (Ga. 2022) (concluding that standing requirement arises from the Georgia Constitution's judicial power provision). Or does the access to courts provision of article I, section 21 have anything to say as to standing? Once decided, we will need to clarify the scope of any standing requirements, such as whether parties may assert both legal and factual injuries or whether only a legal injury will suffice. See, e.g., F. Andrew Hessick, Standing, Injury in Fact, and Private Rights, 93 Cornell L. Rev. 275, 280-81 (2008) (noting that at common law "factual harm without a legal injury was damnum absque injuria and provided no basis for relief"). We will also need to examine whether standing requirements are truly subject to waiver, or instead whether they are jurisdictional in nature. And finally, we will need to provide a principled methodology to help litigants understand which tests to apply when. - 62 -

To decide these and other issues related to standing, we will need the benefit of the adversarial process and thorough briefing. For that reason, and in the proper case, I encourage parties to critically assess these and other standing issues and present argument to this Court should the opportunity arise. LABARGA, J., dissenting. When the United States Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs23 “returned to the people and their elected representatives” “the authority to regulate abortion,” the decision did not force the state of Florida into uncharted territory. Instead, as history reveals and the majority acknowledges, the right to an abortion as a matter of Florida law was decided decades ago following two significant postRoe24 developments: (1) Florida voters' 1980 approval of an amendment to the Florida Constitution expressly providing a right of privacy, and (2) this Court's 1989 decision in In re T. W., 551 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1989), holding that Florida's express right of privacy 23. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org., 597 U.S. 215, 292 (2022). 24. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). - 63

encompasses the right to an abortion. Nonetheless, today's majority decision recedes from decades of this Court's precedent and holds that "there is no basis under [Florida's express right of privacy] to invalidate” “a recently amended statute that shortens the window of time in which a physician may perform an abortion." Majority op. at 2. I strongly dissent. The Right of Privacy Adopted by Florida voters in 1980, article I, section 23 of the Florida Constitution provides: “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life except as otherwise provided herein. This section shall not be construed to limit the public's right of access to public records and meetings as provided by law." Contrary to the majority, I am convinced that in 1980, a Florida voter would have understood that the proposed privacy amendment “included broad protections for abortion." Id. at 46. The right of privacy is no novel concept. More than 100 years ago, former Michigan Supreme Court Justice and noted legal scholar Thomas Cooley described “[t]he right to one's person" as the right "to be let alone." Thomas M. Cooley, A Treatise on the Law of - 64 -

Torts or the Wrongs Which Arise Independent of Contract 29 (2d ed. 1888). When the right "to be let alone" was discussed by Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis in their Harvard Law Review article The Right to Privacy, the article primarily discussed the tort of invasion of privacy. See Samuel D. Warren & Louis D. Brandeis, The Right to Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890). However, the authors also made the following salient observation: THAT the individual shall have full protection in person and in property is a principle as old as the common law; but it has been found necessary from time to time to define anew the exact nature and extent of such protection. Political, social, and economic changes entail the recognition of new rights, and the common law, in its eternal youth, grows to meet the demands of society. Id. at 193. Thus, even in early considerations of the right of privacy, scholars recognized that the right would be one that would evolve over time and it did. During the twentieth century, political, social, and economic changes led to a host of changes in the legal landscape, resulting in an expansion of the right of privacy far beyond a right to be free from unwanted public exposure. Without question, one of the most significant legal developments was the United States Supreme Court's recognition in Roe of an implicit right of privacy - 65 -

guaranteeing the right to an abortion as a matter of federal law. However, the right of privacy in the context of decisional autonomy took hold several years earlier in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) (holding that a state statute prohibiting the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy). It is relevant to the analysis of the public understanding of the right of privacy that Griswold's expansion of privacy to reach decisional autonomy occurred more than seven years before Roe and fifteen years before Florida voters' adoption of the right of privacy as a matter of state constitutional law. The State's argument, that the sole context for Florida's right of privacy is informational privacy, seems to have been a step too far even for the majority. Nonetheless, the majority concludes that the language of "shall not be construed to limit the public's right of access to public records and meetings as provided by law" provides context that "do[es] not lend support to a claim that voters clearly understood abortion to be part and parcel of the rights recognized" under the right of privacy. Majority op. at 23. What is more, it reaches this conclusion despite substantial evidence that - 66 -

overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the public understood the right of privacy to encompass the right to an abortion. Abortion as a Private Matter Before turning to the public understanding of the right of privacy, I write to address the majority's suggestion that abortion is ultimately not a private matter because “the procedure itself include[s] medical intervention and require[s] both the presence and intrusion of others.” Id. at 21 (citing Roe, 410 U.S. at 172 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting)). The majority acknowledges that an abortion "include[s] medical intervention,” see id., but beyond merely “includ[ing] medical intervention,” Florida’s statutes regulating abortion—then and now-require that the procedure be performed by a physician. See § 390.0111(2), Fla. Stat. (2023) (requiring that a termination of pregnancy be performed by a physician); Wright v. State, 351 So. 2d 708 (Fla. 1977) (pre-1980 decision from this Court upholding the conviction of a registered nurse who performed an abortion in violation of statute requiring that the procedure be performed by a physician). The “others” required to be present and involved in the procedure are physicians and medical personnel. In the interest of - 67 -

patient privacy, medical matters, including countless forms of medical procedures, are broadly afforded confidentiality protections with narrowly tailored exceptions. And notably, the involvement of a physician was not fatal to the privacy issue in Griswold, where the United States Supreme Court said: "This law [prohibiting the use of contraceptives], however, operates directly on an intimate relation of husband and wife and their physician's role in one aspect of that relation.” 381 U.S. at 482 (emphasis added). As a matter of necessity, physicians and medical personnel are routinely involved in a wide range of medical procedures, decisions, and other medical matters. The majority attempts to limit today's decision to the issue of abortion. See majority op. at 10 note 7 ("[T]oday we do not revisit our precedents outside the abortion context."). However, I fear that parties will rely on the majority's reasoning that the involvement of "others" in an abortion procedure defeats privacy-in attempts to undermine the broad privacy protections that are extended in the medical context. - 68

The Public Understanding of Roe v. Wade and the Right of Privacy The majority "acknowledge[s] that the public understanding of the term 'privacy' was, to some extent, informed by the United States Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade," observing that "[following that decision, the phrase ‘right to privacy' gained new connotations that, for the first time, included the choice to have an abortion." Majority op. at 29 (emphasis added). The majority continues: In Planned Parenthood's view, this aspect of federal privacy jurisprudence should control our analysis here. Specifically, Planned Parenthood argues that Florida voters would have internalized Roe's definition of privacy when they voted for the privacy amendment. Indeed, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly asserted that the public understanding of this privacy definition was so engrained by 1980 that even without a specific mention of the term abortion, the Privacy Clause unequivocally included such a right by implication. Though this argument has some force, we cannot agree with Planned Parenthood that the backdrop of Roe conclusively establishes how a voter would have understood the provision. Id. at 29-30 (emphasis added). The majority concludes that "[c]onsequently, while Roe is relevant to our analysis of public meaning, it is not dispositive.” Id. at 32. I could not disagree more. - 69 -

The majority correctly recognizes the significant impact of Roe but stops short of the reality that Roe, having fundamentally changed the landscape of abortion rights on a national scale by redefining the scope of the right of privacy, was key to the public understanding of the right of privacy. During the seven-year interval between Roe and Florida voters' adoption of the right of privacy, I find it inconceivable that Americans and more specifically, Floridians were not aware that the right of privacy encompassed the right to an abortion. I agree with the petitioners that "the public understanding of [Roe's] privacy definition was so engrained by 1980 that even without a specific mention of the term abortion, the Privacy Clause unequivocally included such a right by implication." Id. at 29-30. In fact, the majority notes the controversial impact of Roe's reasoning, which reinforces that the public would have understood the right of privacy encompassed the right to an abortion. See id. at 14 (stating that Roe "left even progressive legal scholars baffled at how such a right could be gleaned from the constitution's text," and quoting Dobbs, 597 U.S. at 268 (“Roe's constitutional analysis was far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the - 70 -

various constitutional provisions to which it vaguely pointed.")). Contrary to the majority's position, evidence of the discussion surrounding Roe's reasoning is probative that the public understood the right of privacy to encompass the right to an abortion, and to so conclude does not require the "analytical leap" that the majority suggests it does. See id. at 31. Roe's opponents strenuously disapproved of basing the right to an abortion on the right of privacy; just as strenuously, Roe's supporters agreed with the Supreme Court's analysis. The common denominator is the understanding that the right to an abortion was tied to the right of privacy. The Nationwide Understanding of Roe and the Right of Privacy A decision that triggered pervasive national coverage, Roe was publicly discussed and debated in a way that most judicial decisions-even those decided by the United States Supreme Court are not. Media outlets across the nation reported on the landmark decision. On the day that Roe was decided, Associated Press articles announcing the seminal decision were published on the front pages of newspapers nationwide, many explaining that the decision "was - 71 -

based predominantly on what [Justice] Blackmun called a right of privacy."25 The nightly news programs on the major television networks also reported on Roe to an audience of tens of millions of viewers. The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite-a news program with, at that time, a consistent audience of twenty million or more viewers-covered the decision in a segment lasting more than three minutes, noting that “[t]he nine justices made abortion 25. See, e.g., Associated Press, Abortion Law Out, Mexico Ledger, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Barry Schweid, Abortion Law Struck by Court, The Courier News (Blytheville), Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Abortions Allowed During 1st 6 Months, The Daily Chronicle (Centralia), Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Barry Schweid, Blackmun Cites 'Right of Privacy' Court Bars Restricting Three-Month Abortions, The Index-Journal (Greenwood), Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Court Strikes Down Abortion Law, The Neosho Daily News, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Court Strikes Down Abortion Law, Aiken Standard, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law, The Daily Times-News (Burlington), Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Barry Schweid, Decision Will Affect 44 States, Del Rio News-Herald, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, High Court Upholds Medical Abortions, Waukesha Daily Freeman, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Key Abortion Ruling by Supreme Court, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Rule on Abortions, The Sedalia Democrat, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, States Can't Block Early Abortions, The Bismarck Tribune, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Supreme Court Upholds Women's Abortion Rights, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Texas Law Struck Down, 7-2, The Vernon Daily Record, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1-2. - 72 -

largely a private matter." CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, featuring George Herman in Washington (CBS television broadcast Jan. 22, 1973), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dccagy905yk (available on the CBS News YouTube channel). Throughout the nation, local journalists also published articles announcing and explaining Roe, as did opinion writers in making their arguments.26 In some articles, even the titles emphasized that the right to an abortion was based on the right of privacy. See, e.g., Supreme Court: Right of Privacy Includes Abortion, The Georgia Bulletin, Feb. 22, 1973, at 2 (calling Roe "one of the biggest news stories of the year"); Chicago Daily News Services, 'Privacy' is Reason for Abortion Ruling, Omaha World-Herald, 26. See, e.g., Bonni McKeown, Abortion's Status in West Virginia: Legal Question Affects Availability, Beckley Post-Herald, June 21, 1976, at 5 (explaining that Roe invalidated most states' abortion laws based on the balancing of the state's interests versus a woman's right of privacy); Washington Post, Editorial, Abortion: 19th Century, The Evening Times (Sayre), Feb. 3, 1973, at 4 (same); Joseph Kraft, Opinion, The High Court Speaks Up for Privacy, The Greensboro Record, Jan. 29, 1973, at 20 (same); Joseph Kraft, Opinion, Ruling Revealed Conservative Court, The Montana Standard, Jan. 28, 1973, at 6 (same); Joseph Kraft, Opinion, The Abortion Ruling, The Roanoke Times, Jan. 27, 1973, at 6 (same); Mary Smith, Abortion Ruling Draws Varied Reactions Here, The Lawton Constitution, Jan. 23, 1973, at 4 (same). - 73 -

Jan. 23, 1973, at 18; Associated Press, 'Right of Privacy' Cited in Action Against States, Reno Gazette-Journal, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1. Roe and its extensive coverage informed legislators and their constituents that the right of privacy under the U.S. Constitution protected the right to an abortion. Far from an issue that faded after one or two news cycles, abortion remained a prevalent issue during the seven years between Roe and the 1980 adoption of Florida's privacy amendment. The three-trimester framework laid out in Roe balanced the state's interests against the mother's right of privacy, and based on that balancing test, abortion laws in multiple states, including Florida, were struck down on federal privacy grounds. See Fla. Women's Med. Clinic, Inc. v. Smith, 478 F. Supp. 233 (S.D. Fla. 1979) (holding unconstitutional, on federal privacy grounds, administrative rules implementing Florida abortion statute); Jones v. Smith, 474 F. Supp. 1160 (S.D. Fla. 1979) (granting, on federal privacy grounds, a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Florida abortion statute); Coe v. Gerstein, 376 F. Supp. 695 (S.D. Fla. 1973) (holding Florida abortion statute unconstitutional on federal privacy grounds). - 74 -

As courts, legislatures, and the public continued to confront the topic of abortion, the media continued to cover Roe, noting the historical and legal context: “In the famous 1973 Roe vs. Wade case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that choosing abortion was part of a woman's right to privacy";27 "The Supreme Court legalized abortions in 1973, basing its landmark ruling on a woman's right to privacy."28 In 1980, only two months before Florida's privacy amendment vote, a United States district court judge struck down North Dakota's new abortion law regulating first trimester abortions, applying Roe and stating that "[t]he decision to obtain an abortion free from governmental interference is a fundamental right founded 27. Kevin M. Russell, Letter to the Editor, Does The Bill Regulating Abortions Deny Women Their Rights?, The Record (Hackensack), June 17, 1979, at 105. 28. Associated Press, Top Court to Decide Abortion Law Rule, Gettysburg Times, Nov. 28, 1979, at 6; Associated Press, Abortion Issue Back Before Supreme Court, The Index-Journal (Greenwood), Nov. 27, 1979, at 8; Associated Press, Abortion Issue Goes Back to High Court, News-Journal (Mansfield), Nov. 27, 1979, at 7; Associated Press, Abortion Issue is Back Before the Supreme Court, Poughkeepsie Journal, Nov. 27, 1979, at 6; Associated Press, High Court to Rule on Abortion Issue, Daily Sitka Sentinel, Nov. 27, 1979, at 2. - 75 -

in the right of privacy implicit in the Constitution." Leigh v. Olson, 497 F. Supp. 1340, 1343 (D.N.D. 1980); Associated Press, Most of Abortion Law Tossed Out, The Bismarck Tribune, Sept. 30, 1980, at 1 (front-page newspaper article in North Dakota quoting the court's decision). Following Roe, pro-choice advocates praised the decision for recognizing a woman's right of privacy, while Catholic bishops and other pro-life advocates spoke out against Roe, asserting that the decision let the right of privacy outweigh the right to life: “In effect, the Court is saying that the right of privacy takes precedence over the right to life." U.S. Bishops Issue Message on Abortion, Panama City News-Herald, Mar. 4, 1973, at 40; Bishops Reject High Court's Abortion Ruling, Issue Pastoral Applications for Catholics, The True Voice (Omaha), Feb. 16, 1973, at 1.29 at 29. See also Katherine Lunine, Letter to the Editor, Preserve Constitutional Rights, The Journal News (Hamilton), Feb. 1, 1977, 4 (showing that pro-choice actors argue that government interference with abortion is limited by a woman's right of privacy); Associated Press, Abortion Ban Voted by House, The Corbin TimesTribune, Sept. 17, 1976, at 12 (same); Associated Press, Betty Anne Williams, Anti-Abortionists Stage Ban Rally in Washington, The Robesonian (Lumberton), Jan. 22, 1976, at 2 (same); Associated Press, 'March for Life' Again Seeks Amendment to Ban Abortion, The Index-Journal (Greenwood), Jan. 22, 1976, at 3 (same); Associated - 76

Ultimately, whether they supported the Supreme Court's decision in Roe or not, Americans in 1980 would have understood that the right of privacy encompassed the right to an abortion. The Public Understanding of Florida Voters in 1980 More specifically, and especially relevant to the present case, Florida media coverage after Roe illustrates that in 1980 Florida voters would have understood the privacy amendment to encompass the right to an abortion. The wealth of primary sources from Florida strongly indicates what voters would have known. Newspapers across Florida began reporting on Roe the day it was decided: January 22, 1973. In explaining the decision, these articles discussed the federal right of privacy as the basis for the right to an abortion. Adam Richardson, The Originalist Case for Why the Florida Constitution's Right of Privacy Protects the Right to an Abortion, 53 Stetson L. Rev. 101, 125 (2023). Like newspapers throughout the nation, Florida newspapers published an Associated Press, Washington Rally Marks Abortion Anniversary, The Times Record (Troy), Jan. 22, 1976, at 3 (same); United Press International, High Court 7-2 Ruling on Abortion Praised, Condemned, Traverse City Record-Eagle, Jan. 23, 1973, at 24 (same). - 77 -

Press article quoting Roe's pronouncement that the right of privacy "is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." See, e.g., Associated Press, Court Strikes Down Abortion Laws, The Pensacola News, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, High Court KOs Ban on Abortion, Tallahassee Democrat, Jan. 22, 1973, at 1. Coverage of Roe and of this broad privacy right also made the front pages of newspapers in Orlando and Fort Myers. See Washington Post Dispatch, High Court Nullifies Abortion Laws, Sentinel Star (Orlando), Jan. 23, 1973, at 1; Associated Press, Six-Month Abortions Upheld, Fort Myers NewsPress, Jan. 23, 1973, at 1. In 1980, the right of privacy and its inextricable connection to the right to an abortion continued to permeate Florida news. When Justice Douglas died in January 1980, Florida newspapers reported his legacy with mention of his majority opinion in Griswold as a precursor to Roe. Richardson, supra, at 131; James W. Fox Jr., A Historical and Originalist Defense of Abortion in Florida, 75 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 393, 427-28 (2023). For example, a Miami Herald article noted that after Griswold, "the [United States Supreme] court moved to rule, in 1973, that a woman in early pregnancy has a - 78 -

constitutional right of privacy to choose abortion without government interference." Aaron Epstein, William O. Douglas: Champion of Underdogs, Unpopular Ideas, The Miami Herald, Jan. 27, 1980, at 5-E. Florida news coverage of the United States Supreme Court continued with reports of abortion cases―and their right of privacy issues. In discussing the Supreme Court's 1980 oral arguments in H. L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398 (1981), which involved parental notification of abortion, the Miami Herald reported that “[o]ut of this conflict between a minor's right to privacy and her parents' obligation to care for her has emerged a constitutional issue that was accepted Monday for review by the U.S. Supreme Court." Aaron Epstein, Court Will Examine Parents' Notification for Minor's Abortion, The Miami Herald, Feb. 26, 1980, at 10-A. And explaining the Court's decision in Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980), which upheld the Hyde Amendment's restrictions on the use of federal funds to pay for an abortion, the Pensacola News reported that the decision "had nothing to do with the legality of abortion itself" because “[t]he Supreme Court legalized abortion in its landmark 1973 decision” in which "the court said a woman's right to privacy - 79 -

makes her decision to have an abortion a matter only for her and her doctor during the first three months of her pregnancy." Associated Press, High Court Rules on Abortions, The Pensacola News, June 30, 1980, at 1. Florida newspapers covered major party platforms, including their stances on abortion. These articles linked the abortion issue with the right of privacy. The Fort Lauderdale News and other Florida newspapers published a syndicated column indicating that although the Republican platform did not yet have a consensus on abortion, the Supreme Court had made its determination in 1973 by, in the author's view, “forging from a ‘privacy right' a scythe to mow down state laws that expressed various community judgments about abortion." See George Will, Opinion, Bridges to Cross; Bridges to Burn, Fort Lauderdale News, July 17, 1980, at 18A; Richardson, supra, at 132 n. 177 (observing that the column ran in Florida Today, Fort Myers News-Press, Palm Beach Post, Pensacola News, Sentinel Star (Orlando), St. Lucie News Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Stuart News, and Tallahassee Democrat). Covering the Democratic platform, the St. Petersburg Times reported that delegates had voted for a platform statement opposing "government - 80 -

interference in the reproductive decisions of Americans" and "restrictions on funding for health services for the poor that deny poor women especially the right to exercise a constitutionallyguaranteed right to privacy." Charles Stafford, Kennedy Stirs Democrats with Rousing Call to Arms, St. Petersburg Times, Aug. 13, 1980, at 1-A (quoting the statement under the label “ABORTION”). Florida newspapers also covered statements by pro-choice activists and by pro-life activists that demonstrate both groups' understanding of abortion as part of the right of privacy. See Associated Press, Planned Parenthood Waving the Flag, The Tampa Tribune, Oct. 4, 1980, at 7-D (“In recent years we have faced an increasingly vocal and at times violent minority which seeks to deny all of us our fundamental rights of privacy and individual decisionmaking."); Carol Jeffares, Her Love of Life Makes Her Stand, Fight for It, The Tampa Tribune, Sept. 20, 1980, at 5-Pasco ("The abortion law is based on the woman's right to privacy. It says ‘a woman's right to privacy supersedes the fetus's life." "); Richardson, supra, at 132. With inflammatory language, both pro-choice and pro-life letters to the editor in Florida newspapers further demonstrate this understanding. See Joyce Tarnow, Letter to the Editor, Vote Out - 81

Anti-Abortionists, Fort Lauderdale News, Jan. 29, 1980, at 26-A ("The U.S. Constitution guarantees each of us the right of privacy, the right of religious freedom and the right to pursue happiness however we define it. Compulsory pregnancy is a denial of each of these rights."); Hugh Pope, Letter to the Editor, The Tampa TribuneTimes, Nov. 2, 1980, at 2-C (“There cannot be a more compelling reason for intelligent and patriotic Americans to vote Republican than to save lives! Stripped of all its sugarcoated slogans-freedom of choice[,]' [] 'woman's right to privacy[,]' [] etc., etc., abortion is legalized murder.”). The foregoing primary sources from Florida and from across the United States are examples of many. These sources should not be overlooked, and their impact should not be undervalued. In a quest to uncover the original public meaning of the Florida Constitution's Privacy Clause, they reveal that Roe was widely known for its holding and for its reasoning. Thus, in 1980, Florida voters would have understood the right of privacy as encompassing the right to an abortion. I hasten to add that the coverage discussed above, specifically connecting Roe and the right to an abortion to the right of privacy, - 82 -

occurred at a time when Americans relied heavily on print media and national news broadcasts. Florida Courts Acknowledge Right of Privacy Under Roe By the time Florida voters adopted the privacy amendment in 1980, Florida court decisions had repeatedly acknowledged the right of privacy expanded under federal law by Roe. While these decisions did not conclude that a right of privacy existed on state law grounds, they do provide further support that the public would have understood the link between the right to an abortion and the right of privacy. In 1977, this Court stated that “Justice Blackmun's articulation in Roe v. Wade of the limited scope of the right to privacy remains the current state of the law." Laird v. State, 342 So. 2d 962, 965 (Fla. 1977) (emphasis added) (rejecting argument that a right of privacy protected the possession of marijuana in the home). Even the dissenting opinion in Laird observed: "A constitutional right to privacy has been clearly established by the United States Supreme Court in . . . Roe . . . .” Id. at 966 (Adkins, J., dissenting) (emphasis added). - 83 -

In Jones v. Smith, 278 So. 2d 339 (Fla. 4th DCA 1973), cert. denied, Jones v. Smith, 415 U.S. 958 (1974), a case involving the abortion context, the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected the claim of a putative father that he was entitled to prevent the mother from obtaining an abortion. The district court rejected that argument, saying: The recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade . . . and Doe v. Bolton [410 U.S. 179 (1973)], while dealing with the constitutionality of statutes, set forth what we perceive to be the essential and underlying factor in the determination of this appeal. That factor is the "right of privacy” of the mother. Id. at 341 (emphasis added). Additionally, in discussing the right of privacy, the district court noted an observation made by the United States Supreme Court in Union Pacific Railway Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891): “As well said by Judge Cooley, The right to one's person may be said to be a right of complete immunity to be let alone."" 278 So. 2d at 342 (quoting Babbitz v. McCann, 310 F. Supp. 293, 299 (E.D. Wisc. 1970)). Moreover, in Wright, the statute at issue required that an abortion be performed by a physician and at an approved facility. The petitioner, a registered nurse, challenged the approved facility - 84 -

requirement on the basis that under Roe and other federal decisions, the requirement violated the right of privacy. 351 So. 2d at 710. This Court ultimately upheld the petitioner's conviction on the ground that the statute constitutionally prohibited nonphysicians from performing an abortion. Despite concluding that the approved facility requirement was unconstitutional, this Court rejected the petitioner's privacy argument, stating: “The right to privacy in the abortion decision, recognized in Roe . . . as belonging to the pregnant woman in consultation with her physician, gives way to state power to regulate as the embryo or fetus develops." Id. at 710.30 30. Other decisions not involving abortion-related issues also recognized the right of privacy established in Roe. See, e.g., Rodriguez v. State, 378 So. 2d 7, 8 n.2 (Fla. 2d DCA 1979) (“In Roe, the court balanced the fundamental right to privacy of a woman's decision whether or not to terminate pregnancy against state interest to limit that right to safeguard health and potential life.”); Franklin v. White Egret Condo., Inc., 358 So. 2d 1084, 1089 (Fla. 4th DCA 1977) (observing on motion for rehearing that “[t]he right to be free of unwarranted interference with the decision to have children has been identified on numerous occasions by the United States Supreme Court as one of the matters protected by the right of privacy"); Day v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 328 So. 2d 560, 562 (Fla. 2d DCA 1976) (“The decision to have an abortion during the first trimester has been held to be private and personal to the individual woman. The primary interest, at least in the early stages of pregnancy, is that of the woman and her right to privacy." (citations - 85

Roe and the Privacy Amendment Debate According to the majority, the relative absence of the topic of abortion from the debate over Florida's proposed privacy amendment is evidence that the public did not understand that the right to an abortion was included in the scope of the proposed right of privacy. See majority op. at 41-42 (citing Fox, supra, at 443-44). However, Professor Fox explains why the topic of abortion was not a part of the amendment debate: Abortion would only have been debated if its coverage within the right to privacy were in dispute or were not yet established in law. But as of 1980 the protection of abortion through the right to privacy was the established law. It would hardly make sense for debates about section 23 to invest time and effort re-arguing the reasoning of Roe, let alone arguing that the terms “right to privacy," "right to be let alone," and "free from governmental intrusion" would plainly mean what they already meant in federal law. Fox, supra, at 442-43 (emphasis omitted). Indeed, Roe's extension of the right of privacy to the abortion context so dominated the abortion discussion that it would have been well understood that omitted)). Again, these cases are relevant to demonstrate that after Roe, and before voters adopted Florida's privacy amendment, the right to an abortion as a matter of a right of privacy would have been well understood. - 86 -

the right of privacy adopted by Florida voters included the right to an abortion. In re T.W. [S]tate courts cannot rest when they have afforded their citizens the full protections of the federal Constitution. State constitutions, too, are a font of individual liberties, their protections often extending beyond those required by the Supreme Court's interpretation of federal law. The legal revolution which has brought federal law to the fore must not be allowed to inhibit the independent protective force of state law-for without it, the full realization of our liberties cannot be guaranteed. William J. Brennan, Jr., State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights, 90 Harv. L. Rev. 489, 491 (1977). Indeed, "[t]he citizens of Florida opted for more protection from governmental intrusion when they approved article I, section 23 of the Florida Constitution. This amendment is an independent, freestanding constitutional provision which declares the fundamental right to privacy." Winfield v. Div. of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, 477 So. 2d 544, 548 (Fla. 1985). The amendment "was intentionally phrased in strong terms . in order to make the privacy right as strong as possible." Id. It was in the context of Florida's broad right of privacy that almost thirty-five years ago, this Court held as a matter of state - 87 -

constitutional law that "Florida's privacy provision is clearly implicated in a woman's decision of whether or not to continue her pregnancy." T. W., 551 So. 2d at 1192. T.W. explained: “[W]e have said that the [privacy] amendment provides ‘an explicit textual foundation for those privacy interests inherent in the concept of liberty which may not otherwise be protected by specific constitutional provisions."" Id. (quoting Rasmussen v. S. Fla. Blood Serv., 500 So. 2d 533, 536 (Fla. 1987)). Unfortunately, the majority's decision to recede from T. W. and its progeny constitutes the rejection of a “decades-long line of cases hold[ing] that the Privacy Clause ‘embraces more privacy interests, and extends more protection to the individual in those interests, than [does] the federal Constitution."" Petitioners' Opening Brief at 41 (emphases omitted) (quoting T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1192). The decision is an affront to this state's tradition of embracing a broad scope of the right of privacy.31 31. In 2012, Florida reaffirmed this tradition when voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have narrowed protections for abortion rights in Florida by requiring that the protections be no greater than those provided under federal law. Additionally, the amendment would have overruled T. W. and other decisions concluding that Florida protections for abortion rights - 88 -

In deciding to reexamine T. W. and ultimately to recede from T.W. and its progeny, the majority states: "Since Roe featured prominently in T.W., we think it fair to also point out that the T. W. majority did not examine or offer a reasoned response to the existing criticism of that decision or consider whether it was doctrinally coherent. This was a significant misstep because Roe did not provide a settled definition of privacy rights." Majority op. at 13-14. I disagree. T. W. did acknowledge that "the workability of the trimester system and the soundness of Roe itself have been seriously questioned in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989).” T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1190. However, this Court correctly exceed those provided under federal law. In a decisive vote, more than fifty-five percent of Florida voters rejected the amendment. See Initiative Information: Prohibition on Public Funding of Abortions; Construction of Abortion Rights, Fla. Dep't of State, Division of Elections, https://dos.elections.myflorida.com/initiatives/initdetail.asp?accou nt=10&seqnum=82 (last visited Mar. 19, 2024). While the petitioners conceded during the oral argument in this case that Florida voters' rejection of the abortion amendment in 2012 was not relevant to the public understanding of the right of privacy adopted in 1980, the 2012 amendment rejection is still relevant to an understanding of Florida's tradition with respect to the right of privacy. - 89 -

observed that “[Roe] for now remains the federal law." See id. As such, this Court was not obligated in T.W. to “examine or offer a reasoned response to the existing criticism of [Roe] or consider whether it was doctrinally coherent." Majority op. at 13-14. It was "three years after T. W." and almost twelve years after Florida voters' 1980 adoption of the right of privacy that “the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned Roe's position that the right to abortion was grounded in any sort of [federal] privacy right." See id. at 15 (emphasis added) (citing Planned Parenthood of Se. Penn. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 846 (1992)). Even then, the United States Supreme Court did not abandon Roe's “essential holding." Casey, 505 U.S. at 846. I reemphasize that T. W. was decided on state law grounds and with a clear understanding of the breadth of Florida's right of privacy as discussed in Winfield. To be certain, Roe was fundamental to the public understanding of the right of privacy as encompassing the right to an abortion. However, T. W. did not rely on Roe or the federal constitution to determine that Florida's right of privacy included the right to an abortion. See T.W., 551 So. 2d at 1196 ("We expressly decide this case on state law grounds and cite federal precedent only to the extent that it illuminates Florida - 90 -

law."). Because this Court based its decision squarely on Florida law, there is no basis for upending decades of precedent that give effect to Florida's broad right of privacy. Beyond Today's Decision The impact of today's decision extends far beyond the fifteenweek ban at issue in this case. By operation of state statute, the majority's decision will result in even more stringent abortion restrictions in this state. While not before this Court in the present case, it is an irrefutable effect of today's decision that chapter 202321, Laws of Florida, also known as the Heartbeat Protection Act, will take effect in short order. Chapter 2023-21 amends section 390.0111, Florida Statutes (among other statutes), and with limited exceptions, it bans abortions beyond the gestational age of six weeks. The Act provides that the ban will take effect thirty days after any of the following events: (1) a decision by this Court holding that Florida's constitutional right to privacy does not include a right to abortion; (2) a decision by this Court in the present case allowing the fifteen-week ban to remain in effect; (3) an amendment to the Florida Constitution clarifying that Florida's constitutional right of privacy - 91 -

does not include the right to an abortion; or (4) a decision from this Court after March 7, 2023, that recedes in whole or part from any of the following: T.W., North Florida Women's Health v. State, 866 So. 2d 612 (Fla. 2003), and Gainesville Woman Care, LLC v. State, 210 So. 3d 1243 (Fla. 2017). See ch. 2023-21, § 9, Laws of Fla. Today's decision implicates three of these four events, meaning that the Act's six-week ban will take effect in thirty days. “The document that the [majority] releases [today] is in the form of a judicial opinion interpreting a [provision of the Florida Constitution]. Bostock v. Clayton Co., 590 U.S. 644, 683 (2020) (Alito, J., dissenting). However, I lament that what the majority has done today supplants Florida voters' understandingthen and now that the right of privacy includes the right to an abortion. Conclusion "" The majority concludes that the public understanding of the right of privacy did not encompass the right to an abortion. However, the dominance of Roe in the public discourse makes it inconceivable that in 1980, Florida voters did not associate abortion with the right of privacy. - 92 -

Because of this, and with deep dismay at the action the majority takes today, I dissent. Application for Review of the Decision of the District Court of Appeal Direct Conflict of Decisions First District - Case No. 1D22-2034 (Leon County) Whitney Leigh White, Jennifer Dalven, and Johanna Zacarias of American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, New York, New York, for Petitioners Gainesville Woman Care, LLC, Indian Rocks Woman's Center, Inc., St. Petersburg Woman's Health Center, Inc., and Tampa Woman's Health Center, Inc., Autumn Katz and Caroline Sacerdote of Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, New York, for Petitioner A Woman's Choice of Jacksonville, Inc. Jennifer Sandman of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York, New York, for Petitioners Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida, and Shelly Hsiao-Ying Tien, M.D., M.P.H. April A. Otterberg and Shoba Pillay of Jenner & Block LLP, Chicago, Illinois; and Daniel Tilley of American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida, Miami, Florida; Benjamin James Stevenson, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida, Pensacola, Florida, and Nicholas L.V. Warren of American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida, Inc., Tallahassee, Florida, for Petitioners - 93 -

Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Henry C. Whitaker, Solicitor General, Jeffrey Paul DeSousa, Chief Deputy Solicitor General, Daniel William Bell, Chief Deputy Solicitor General, Nathan A. Forrester, Senior Deputy Solicitor General, David M. Costello, Deputy Solicitor General, Darrick W. Monson, Assistant Solicitor General, Zachary Grouev, Solicitor General Fellow, John M. Guard, Chief Deputy Attorney General, James H. Percival, Chief of Staff, and Natalie P. Christmas, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General Tallahassee, Florida, for Respondent Brad F. Barrios of Turkel Cuva Barrios, P.A., Tampa, Florida, for Amici Curiae Law Professors Jonathan B. Miller and Hilary Burke Chan of Public Rights Project, Oakland, California; and Matthew A. Goldberger of Matthew A. Goldberger, P.A., West Palm Beach, Florida, for Amici Curiae Current and Former Elected Representatives for Reproductive Justice Kimberly A. Parker, Lesley F. McColl, and Aleksandr Sverdlik of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, District of Columbia, and Meghan G. Wingert of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, New York, New York; and Sean Shaw of Swope Rodante, Tampa, Florida, for Amici Curiae American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Miranda Schiller, Sarah M. Sternlieb, Robert Niles-Weed, and Elizabeth McLean of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, New York, New York, Charlotte McFaddin and Caroline Elvig of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Washington, District of Columbia, and Edward Soto of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Miami, Florida, - 94 -

for Amicus Curiae Floridians for Reproductive Freedom Angela C. Vigil, Robert H. Moore, and Paul Chander of Baker & McKenzie LLP, Miami, Florida; and Francisca D. Fajana of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, New York, New York, and Emily M. Galindo of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Orlando, Florida, for Amici Curiae LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Florida Access Network, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, Esperanza United, and A.L. Brian J. Stack and Robert Harris of Stack Fernandez & Harris, P.A., Miami, Florida; and Sarah B. Gutman, Lilianna Rembar, and Caroline Soussloff of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, New York, New York, and Jennifer Kennedy Park of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, San Francisco, California, for Amici Curiae Sanctuary for Families, Legal Momentum, The National Organization for Women Foundation, The Rapid Benefits Group Fund, Women for Abortion and Reproductive Rights, Margaret A. Baldwin, JD, Professor Cyra Choudhury, Professor Donna K. Coker, Professor Zanita E. Fenton, Doctor Kathryn M. Nowotny, PhD, and Jodi Russell Eugene M. Gelernter and Caitlin A. Ross of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, New York, New York; and Courtney Brewer of The Mills Firm, P.A., Tallahassee, Florida, for Amici Curiae National Council of Jewish Women, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Catholics for Choice, Metropolitan Community Churches, National Council of Jewish Women - Greater Miami Section, National Council of Jewish Women - Palm Beach Section, National Council of Jewish Women - Sarasota Manatee Section, National Council of Jewish Women - Kendall Section, National Council of Jewish Women - Valencia Shores Section, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Women's Rabbinic Network, Moving Traditions, Avodah, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Orthodox - 95 -

Feminist Alliance, Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Men of Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism, Rabbinical Assembly, Society for Humanistic Judaism, Muslim Women's Organization, Hindus for Human Rights, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER), SACRED (Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity), Faith in Public Life, and Florida Interfaith Coalition for Reproductive Health and Justice Jordan E. Pratt and Christine K. Pratt of First Liberty Institute, Washington, District of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae National Institute of Family and Life Advocates Alan Lawson, Paul C. Huck, Jr., Jason Gonzalez, Amber Stoner Nunnally, and Caroline May Poor of Lawson Huck Gonzalez, PLLC, Tallahassee, Florida, for Amicus Curiae Former State Representative John Grant Christopher Green, University, Mississippi; and Antony B. Kolenc, Naples, Florida, for Amici Curiae Scholars on original meaning in State Constitutional Law Lynn Fitch, Attorney General, Scott G. Stewart, Solicitor General, and Justin L. Matheny, Deputy Solicitor General, Mississippi Attorney General's Office, Jackson, Mississippi; and Samuel J. Salario, Jr. of Lawson Huck Gonzalez, PLLC, Tampa, Florida, for Amici Curiae Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia Stephen C. Emmanuel of Ausley McMullen, Tallahassee, Florida, - 96

for Amici Curiae Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Florida Baptist Convention Jay Alan Sekulow, Jordan Sekulow, and Olivia F. Summers of American Center for Law & Justice, Washington, District of Columbia; and Edward L. White III of American Center for Law & Justice, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for Amicus Curiae Charlotte Lozier Institute Christopher E. Mills of Spero Law LLC, Charleston, South Carolina; and Chad Mizelle, Tampa, Florida, for Amicus Curiae American College of Pediatricians Edward M. Wenger of Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak, PLLC, Washington, District of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae American Cornerstone Institute Carlos A. Rey, General Counsel, Kyle E. Gray, Deputy General Counsel, The Florida Senate, David Axelman, General Counsel, and J. Michael Maida, Deputy General Counsel, The Florida House of Representatives, Tallahassee, Florida, for Amicus Curiae The Florida Legislature Kenneth L. Connor of Connor & Connor, LLC, Aiken, South Carolina, for Amicus Curiae Liberty Counsel Action S. Dresden Brunner of S. Dresden Brunner, P.A., Naples, Florida, for Amicus Curiae The Prolife Center at the University of St. Thomas (MN) Patrick Leduc of Law Offices of Patrick Leduc, P.A., Tampa, Florida, - 97 -

for Amicus Curiae American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists Mathew D. Staver, Anita L. Staver, Horatio G. Mihet, and Hugh C. Phillips of Liberty Counsel, Orlando, Florida, for Amici Curiae Frederick Douglass Foundation, The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Fiona Jackson Center for Pregnancy, and Issues4life Foundation D. Kent Safriet of Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak, PLLC, Tallahassee, Florida, for Amicus Curiae Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America Denise M. Harle of Alliance Defending Freedom, Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Joshua L. Rogers of Alliance Defending Freedom, Scottsdale, Arizona, for Amicus Curiae Concerned Women for America - 98 -

Bills targeting book bans raise concerns about the penalties libraries could face

The banned book section at The Family Book Shop in DeLand, Fla.

Bills against book bans are gaining traction in state legislatures around the country — and with them have come worries about the potentially negative impact on libraries themselves.

The number of banned books across the country saw an almost two-thirds increase in 2023 from the previous year, to more than 4,200 titles, according to a new report from the American Library Association . The free speech advocacy group PEN America found that last school year, about 30% of the book titles being challenged in schools included characters of color or discussed race and racism, while another 30% presented LGBTQ characters or themes. In addition, almost half the banned books featured themes or instances of violence or physical abuse, and a third contained writing on sexual experiences between characters.

The rise in book bans has prompted lawmakers to push back with bills in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico. They follow Illinois and California, where such legislation has been signed into law.

Experts are raising concerns, however, as some of the legislation would fine school districts or withhold library funding if their provisions are not followed, such as in Illinois and California. The enforcement measures could especially be a threat to public schools and libraries that are underfunded and understaffed, they say.

“It always is a concern when you put funding on the line for any reason,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

“We would not want to see bills that are overly prescriptive that make it difficult for smaller communities or rural communities to receive their funding."

She added, "Our big concern is not creating a system that would make it so onerous to comply with the bill that it makes it difficult for libraries with fewer resources."

Budgetary constraints also can give rise to circumstances that could be misread as violations of state laws, experts say. For example, titles may be removed or go missing from the shelves of schools or public libraries when the books are damaged or lost or there’s no money in the budget to purchase them. Personnel shortages also can prevent libraries from staffing panels that review books or instructional materials for approval or disapproval. Some experts argued that such problems could be unfairly weaponized against schools or public libraries, which have experienced increased criticism and scrutiny as part of the growing movement to ban books.

Illinois’ new law requires that state libraries adopt the American Library Association’s long-standing Library Bill of Rights, which says that reading materials cannot be banned, removed or restricted due to "partisan or doctrinal disapproval," or, alternatively, a similar statement prohibiting the banning of books. If public libraries don’t adopt such guidelines, they become ineligible for state grant money, which makes up a substantial part of their budgets.

When asked about the concerns over the law, Illinois state Sen. Laura Murphy, a Democrat who co-sponsored the measure, said in a statement to NBC News that by adding the threat to funding to the legislation, lawmakers were "intentional in establishing a mechanism to hold libraries accountable and sending a clear message that there would be a recourse for those who seek to ban books."

She added that the law's enforcement gave it more of a backbone and was a way to "further demonstrate our support for librarians” who back efforts to keep an inclusive range of book titles available.

Emily Knox, an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said that she believes connecting funding to Illinois’ bill is necessary for its effectiveness.

“That’s what gives the bill any teeth at all,” she said. “Libraries and schools need more money, but because funding is so precious to public institutions, you don’t want to do things that jeopardize the possibility of getting funding from a source like the state. So it does make a big difference.”

Knox said claims that the funding could be weaponized against libraries in the state if they are targeted for not having certain titles on the shelf are inaccurate based on the wording of the legislation.

“The bill says that [libraries] have to support the ALA Bill of Rights and have a process in place for reconsidering books. It doesn’t say what the outcome of that process is,” she said.

Since the Illinois bill just mandates the policy to taken up by libraries, rather than specifying what specific books should or shouldn't be on the shelves, libraries can’t be targeted for lacking book titles, Knox said.

And the law is already proving effective, she said, noting that the director of the public library in Metropolis, Illinois, was dismissed last month in part for challenging the library board’s decision to conform to the state’s law and adopt the ALA Bill of Rights, which the board said was necessary to do in order to receive state grants that the library needs.

California’s law focuses on penalizing school districts if books are determined to have been rejected from their library shelves for discriminatory reasons, which would result in financial penalties from the state Education Department. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the law aims to protect access to books which “reflect the diverse experiences and perspectives of Californians.”

Caldwell-Stone warned that in a national environment in which librarians face growing criticism about the types of books they provide, laws against book bans must consider the potential pitfalls and burdens on library staff.

Some state lawmakers have reconsidered the inclusion of financial penalties for libraries in their bills amid the fears of unintended consequences. In New Jersey, legislators dropped that language from their bill after librarians expressed concerns.

State Sen. Andrew Zwicker, a Democrat who sponsored the b ill , said that he grew concerned about the potential impact of such penalties after hearing from several librarians about the criticism and scrutiny they've received amid the increasing challenges to various book titles.

Washington and Oregon have advanced legislation against book bans that focus on school districts, but neither includes fines like California's law. Washington’s bill is waiting for Gov. Jay Inslee’s expected signature, and Oregon’s measure has been passed by the state Senate.

Both bills would prohibit the exclusion of instructional materials for including information on the role or contributions of individuals and groups protected from discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other characteristics.

Washington state Rep. Monica Stonier and Oregon state Sen. Lew Frederick, Democrats who introduced their respective bills, explained that their measures would simply enact vetting processes for books that are already being used in school districts across the state, unifying those district protocols while adding anti-discriminatory protections.

Lawmakers in support of the laws in Washington and Oregon say that they plan to see how California’s enforcement provisions play out before considering adding a fine to their bills.

“We already have a way to do this, there doesn’t seem to be a need to set up another one,” Frederick said. “I think this is a simple approach because it just says you can’t discriminate."

Kyla Guilfoil is an intern for NBC News Digital Politics.

essay mills to be banned

Ben White told he should face 'long ban' as footage emerges of Arsenal defender's 'cheating' in Premier League win over former club Brighton

  • Arsenal beat Brighton 3-0
  • White clashes with Estupinan
  • Branded a 'cheat' for his actions

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Gunners went top of the Premier League with a 3-0 win at the Amex on Saturday thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz, and Leandro Trossard. However, for some, the shine has somewhat been taken off the victory following White's antics with the game at 1-0. Social media footage shows the Arsenal man nudge Brighton's Pervis Estupinan as the left-back jogged past in the 51st minute. When the Ecuadorian retaliated with a push, former Seagulls academy player White collapsed to the ground, holding his throat. After a delay, the 26-year-old carried on without a hitch but many football fans have since slammed his actions.

WHAT THE FANS ARE SAYING

Andrew Armer wrote on X, formerly Twitter: "Disgraceful. 😡 If that's not bringing the game into disrepute, I don't know what is? Retrospective long ban & large fine should (but almost certainly won't) follow."

Aslan, tweeted: "He elbowed no10 [Brighton's Julio Enciso] as well there. Should've been sent off," and thepaulmiffersmith posted: "Same old Arsenal... always cheating."

Scott J added: "I thought it was just me. Saw this on MoTD (Match of the Day) and thought it was the worst thing I've seen in the EPL (English Premier League), shocking behaviour. Brighton will be making voodoo dolls of White today," while Dylan commented: "Why didn't VAR send him off for acting?"

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Aside from White's playacting, Arsenal once again proved their title credentials with a convincing win against Roberto De Zerbi's side - who beat the Gunners twice in all competitions last season. The result also ended the Seagulls' 12-match unbeaten home run in the league, which stretches back to a 3-1 loss to West Ham in August. Mikel Arteta's men are top the table by one point but a Liverpool win over Manchester United on Sunday afternoon will see them leapfrog the north London outfit.

DID YOU KNOW?

White was released by Southampton at the age of 16 before joining Brighton's academy. After loan spells at Newport County in League Two, Peterborough United in League One, and Leeds United in the Championship, he played one full season in the Premier League with Brighton before signing for Arsenal for £50 million ($63m) in 2021.

White will be back in action for Arsenal on Tuesday when they take on Bayern Munich at the Emirates in the last eight of the Champions League. They they return to Premier League matters next Sunday against Aston Villa at home.

ben white

IMAGES

  1. Essay Mills To Be Banned Under Plans To Reform Post-16 Education In

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  2. Essay mills to be banned in England

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COMMENTS

  1. Essay mills to be banned under plans to reform post-16 education

    5 October 2021. Services offering to provide students with essays for money, known as essay mills, are to be made illegal under plans announced by the government today (5 October). The government ...

  2. Essay mills are now illegal

    Through this act, the Government has legislated for landmark reforms that will transform post-16 education and skills, including criminalising essay mills. As you may know, Essay Mills are online platforms that facilitate contract cheating. Contract cheating happens when a third party completes work for a student which is passed off by the ...

  3. Essay mills: 'Contract cheating' to be made illegal in England

    'Misleading' essay writing ads banned A 2018 survey suggested that 15.7% of recent graduates admitted to cheating, but Universities UK said that the use of essay mills by students was rare.

  4. UK clamps down on academic fraud with 'essay mills' ban

    Running so-called "essay mills", businesses that provide, arrange or advertise paid-for assessment-writing services will be banned in England, the Department for Education announced on Tuesday ...

  5. Essay mills offering incentives to cheating students, experts warn

    Last modified on Tue 26 Apr 2022 14.00 EDT. Students are being incentivised to cheat at university by commercial essay mills offering buy-one-get-one-free deals, loyalty schemes and high street ...

  6. The essay mills undermining academic standards around the world

    UK universities have campaigned for a UK-wide ban: in 2018, 40 vice-chancellors wrote to the UK's education secretary saying that essay cheating "is particularly hard to detect" and there is ...

  7. 'Essay mills' ban will benefit universities and students alike

    The Department for Education (DfE) announced in early October that "essay mills" are to be made illegal under a new Skills and Post-16 Education Bill. This follows calls from Chris Skidmore, former universities minister, in February to impose a ban. The measures will make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise these cheating ...

  8. UK to ban 'essay mills' in sweeping post-16 education reforms

    Photo: Martin-DM. Commercial essay-writing services for students, or "essay mills", are set to be banned in England under plans to protect the academic integrity and standards of post-16 education, the UK government said on Tuesday. It intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise such services to university and college ...

  9. University chiefs 'urge education secretary to ban essay mills'

    Essay mills are illegal in some countries and a parliamentary petition is already under way calling for them to be banned. The work can be difficult to identify as the essays are tailored for ...

  10. QAA welcomes ban on essay mills in England

    Date: 28th April 2022. QAA has welcomed the confirmation that essay mills will be banned in England, following the enactment of the Skills and Post-16 Education Act this afternoon. The legislation, which completed its passage through Westminster earlier this month, has now received Royal Assent. The amendment to ban essay mills was tabled in ...

  11. Essay mills and other contract cheating services: to buy or not to buy

    The paper reviews how essay mills operate, discusses how students form contracts with essay mills, students' legal rights to withdraw from contracts and how institutions should respond whilst still respecting their duty of care to students. Sharp practices operated by contract cheating providers are explained throughout.

  12. 'Unethical' essay mills to be banned in England under Government plans

    Essay mills are set to be banned in England under plans to reform post-16 education. The Government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain to university and college students. Making essay mills illegal under new legislation will help protect students from falling prey to ...

  13. 'Unethical' essay mills to be banned in England under Government plans

    Eleanor Busby October 5, 2021. Essay mills are set to be banned in England under plans to reform post-16 education. The Government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or ...

  14. Unscrupulous essay mills will soon be banned in the UK

    16 Feb 2021. The UK government is discussing a ban on essay mills, which is being backed by industry leaders. Students engage these services for help with assignments and exams. Source: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP. The UK government will soon be cracking down on contract cheating services following the introduction of an Essay Mills (Prohibition) Bill ...

  15. University bosses call for 'essay mill' companies ban

    A parliamentary petition is already under way calling for essay mills to be banned.. Often the work can be difficult to identify as the essays are tailored for individual subjects and appear ...

  16. 'Unethical' essay mills to be banned in England under Government plans

    Essay mills are set to be banned in England under plans to reform post-16 education. The Government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise essay-writing services ...

  17. 'Unethical' essay mills to be banned in England under Government plans

    Essay mills are set to be banned in England under plans to reform post-16 education. The Government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain to university and college students. Making essay mills illegal under new legislation will help protect students from falling prey to ...

  18. Essay mills to be banned in England

    Essay mills to be banned in England. Oct. 8, 2021. ffering essay-writing services to students for a fee will become a criminal offence under plans to tackle cheating by 'essay mills'. According to an announcement on Tuesday 5 October, it will be a crime in England to provide, arrange, or advertise essay-writing services for financial gain ...

  19. Essay Mills and Contract Cheating from a Legal Point of View

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  20. The pitfalls of essay mills and why students should avoid them

    With essay mills, there's a risk of bribery, while there's no guarantee that the article purchased is of excellent quality. Source: Christina Quicler/AFP. International students whose English isn't their first language may be tempted to use essay mills due to their lack of language skills or insecurities. Despite that, they are highly ...

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    Scams that impersonate well-known businesses and government agencies are consistently among the top frauds reported to the FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network. [1] In 2023, data from the FTC alone show more than 330,000 reports of business impersonation scams and nearly 160,000 reports of government impersonation scams. [2] That amounts to nearly half the frauds reported directly to the agency. [3]

  22. Why Abortion Is Back at the Supreme Court

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  23. I Hope to Repeal an Arcane Law That Could Be Misused to Ban Abortion

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  24. 'Unethical' essay mills to be banned in England under Government plans

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  26. Read the Florida Supreme Court's Ruling on the Abortion Ban

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  27. Bills targeting book bans raise concerns about the penalties libraries

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  28. Ben White told he should face 'long ban' as footage emerges of ...

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