TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed four pieces of legislation into law that he says will protect Floridians from medical mandates like masks and vaccines during the pandemic.
He says collectively, the slate of bills he signed Thursday is strongest legislation in the nation for medical freedom.
SB1580, the medical conscience law, gives health care providers and insurers new rights, including the ability to opt out of participation or payment for certain health care services on the basis of personal objections.
“We want our physicians practicing evidence-based medicine. We don’t want to defer and just follow the herd,” DeSantis said.
The policy gives insurers and health care providers the ability to deny medical services that are against their moral religious or ethical beliefs.
The law has been met with fierce criticism from the LGBTQ+ community.
“These things are dangerous because the unintended consequences behind a lot of these are life and death for Floridians,” State Sen. Shevrin Jones said.
Jones, who is Florida’s first openly gay state senator, is worried the law could lead to medical discrimination.
“This is going to cause individuals to have to start shopping around to go find a doctor and look for an individual who is really, truly in need at that moment, and they really need that care and a doctor does not wanna provide those services,” Jones added.
Opponents are already considering challenging this law in court. The law goes into effect July 1.