SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new Florida law banning abortions after 15-weeks is slated to go into effect on July 1, one week after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood is one of multiple organizations challenging the law in court this week, requesting a temporary injunction. A judge heard testimony in the case throughout the day Monday. The hearing is set to resume Thursday morning.
Supporters of the new law say it puts the lives of the unborn first. Opponents argue it strips away the rights of women and will have devastating consequences.
“We know in poll after poll after poll, people do not want to limited access to abortion care, that they want their rights respected, that they want to make their own medical decisions. So I certainly hope the judge hears us both by what are people and Floridians want, as well as what is constitutional,” Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida President and CEO, Stephanie Fraim said.
Fraim went on to call the law “cruel”.
“To deny somebody the health care that they need when they seek it, to tell a person that they are not allowed to make the healthcare decision that is best for their family, to force them to carry a pregnancy for whatever reason is not in their best interest or best for their family or the children they already have, that is a very definition of cruel and unkind and not hearing the very real voices of Floridians who have told their stories over and over and over about how important this care has been for them and their lives. That is cruel,” said Fraim.
Planned Parenthood officials said the restrictions will disproportionately impact patients from marginalized communities.
“It is absurd that legislators are dictating both how and whether I care for my patients,” OB/GYN Dr. Robyn Schickler said. “Even worse, these legislators are forcing a lifechanging decision on my patients that should be left only to that patient to make. This is wrong for patients, this is wrong for our communities and it is wrong for Florida.”
Closing arguments in the state hearing are expected to take place Thursday. The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m.