ORLANDO, Fla. – A group of abortion providers in Florida and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit to stop the new law banning abortions after 15 weeks.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Florida court, contends the new law, HB 5, violates the state constitution’s broad protections for individual privacy.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled in the 1980s that the state’s right to privacy included a woman’s right to an abortion. Whether the conservative-majority court, with several justices appointed by Gov. DeSantis, will uphold that ruling is not clear.
The group, made up of Planned Parenthood, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU, say the law endangers women in the middle of a maternal mortality crisis, especially Black women, and forces Floridians to remain pregnant against their will.
They also say the state already has a number of limits to make it harder to have an abortion, from insurance bans to parental consent to forcing patients to take an extra trip to an abortion provider before receiving care.
The lawsuit seeks to block HB 5 from taking effect July 1. The bill bans abortions after 15 weeks from the date of the woman’s last menstrual cycle, and does not have exemptions in the cases of rape or incest. It does include provisions to allow an abortion if the mother could die or be irreversibly impaired physically, but two physicians must approve of the decision.