TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The American Civil Liberties Union announced a lawsuit against the state of Florida for its recently passed 15-week abortion ban. The non-profit announced its legal contest over Twitter.
The ACLU is suing to halt Florida’s House Bill 5, which was signed into law in April.
The Florida abortion ban did not contain exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking, and shortened the window pregnant mothers could get an abortion in the state. The bill does provide an exception in cases where a fetus “has a fatal fetal abnormality” that prevents it from achieving viability.
Shortly after the bill was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a court restored a previous law requiring abortion seekers to wait 24 hours after receiving counseling before getting an abortion. The ACLU was a plaintiff in that case, as well.
HB 5 not only bans abortions after 15 weeks, but defines two specific types of abortions in Florida, surgical and medical abortion.
In their announcement of the legal contest to HB 5, the ACLU’s Twitter thread read:
We’re suing Florida over their ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The ban also threatens to put doctors in jail for providing essential care beyond that point.ACLU Twitter announcement of HB 5 lawsuit
Florida, we’ll see you in court.
The ban would have a devastating effect on abortion access in a state where access is already restricted.
Resulting barriers will force Floridians to remain pregnant against their will, endangering their families, health, and lives.
The Florida state constitution provides broad protections for individual privacy rights — including the right to abortion.
This ban blatantly violates that constitutional right.
We won’t stop fighting for Floridians’ fundamental right to get the care they need.
In addition to the ACLU thread and copy of the lawsuit’s complaint, the Florida Health Centers released a statement on the lawsuit, saying the bill’s ban “threatens to put doctors in jail for providing essential care” beyond the point of 15 weeks of pregnancy, with Florida abortion providers asking the state to “block the ban from taking effect on July 1.”
“Two-thirds of Floridians support the right to abortion and voters have consistently cast their ballot to ensure that the state constitution provides independent protection for the right to abortion,” Florida Health Centers said in a statement. “HB 5 is blatantly unconstitutional under the state constitution. In 1980, Florida voters amended the state constitution to provide broad protections for individual privacy rights — including abortion.”
Additionally, the statement from FHC included commentary by the ACLU.
“This law blatantly rejects Floridians’ need for essential abortion care and their strong support for the right to get an abortion. 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,” Daniel Tilley, legal directory, ACLU of Florida, said in a statement. “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 plaintiffs in the case plan to hold a press call at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.