The American Civil Liberties Union and a group of abortion providers in Florida have filed a lawsuit to stop the state's new law banning abortion after 15 weeks, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 5 into law on April 14. It bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy without exemptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking. Set to go into effect July 1, the law does allow exceptions in cases where a pregnancy is considered "a serious risk" to the mother, or when a fatal fetal abnormality is detected, but only if two physicians confirm the diagnosis in writing.
The ACLU of Florida and two regional Planned Parenthood offices and six abortion providers filed the lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court against the state of Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health and every judicial circuit's state attorney.
They are seeking an injunction to keep the bill from going into effect.
The groups say HB 5 threatens doctors with jail time and violates privacy rights that are enshrined in the state constitution.
"Absent an injunction, the Act will prevent Floridians from exercising their fundamental constitutional right to decide whether to have an abortion prior to viability, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law," the lawsuit states.
ACLU of Florida Legal Director Daniel Tilley in a statement wrote that the new law blocks women from access to essential abortion care.
"Not only does HB 5 defy the will of the people, it ignores the real life circumstances of people who need an abortion and deliberately puts them in harm's way," Tilley said. "With the U.S. Supreme Court threatening to take away the federal right to abortion, we will do everything in our power to block this cruel attack on Floridians' fundamental right to get the care they need."
The Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement said Florida's 15-week ban would have "devastating" effects on abortion access in the surrounding region.
"Floridians already face burdensome restrictions to getting an abortion — such as a ban on insurance plans on the state exchange covering abortion; a parental consent requirement that makes it harder for young people to get abortions; and a law that requires people to make an additional, unnecessary trip to an abortion provider before receiving care, which took effect in April," it added.
Florida allowed abortion until the third trimester of pregnancy before HB 5 was signed into law.
Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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