NRL News

ACLU challenges Florida’s ban on abortions after the 15th week, Gov. DeSantis “confident that this law will ultimately withstand all legal challenges.”

by | Jun 2, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

As expected, with Florida’s new ban on abortions after the 15th week scheduled to take effect July 1, the ACLU of Florida Wednesday filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction on behalf of two Planned Parenthood organizations and several abortion providers in the state.

“The challenge filed in Leon County Circuit Court centers on the argument that the law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks violates a privacy clause in Florida’s Constitution that includes the right to terminate a pregnancy,” reported Cindy Krischer Goodman.

HB 5 –“Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act” –protects unborn children from abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy (almost four months) except for severe fetal anomaly or to save the mother’s life or prevent a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition. The bill is modeled on the Mississippi law under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

When pro-life Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB5, he said “It’s a statement of our values that every life is important.”

“We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” said DeSantis who was surrounded by lawmakers, pro-life advocates, and children. “This will represent the most significant protections for life that we have seen in a generation.”

The bill, signed on April 14, came just days after Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey upheld a 24-hour waiting period, a law passed way back in 2015. “Twenty-six other states have similar restrictions, some of which have been in effect for many years,” she wrote, “Moreover, plaintiffs can point to no evidence that these laws have prevented any women — let alone all women — who desire an abortion from obtaining one.”

In a statement, the ACLU of Florida said,  “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 ACLU accuses the act of violating the fundamental privacy rights protected by the state’s Constitution.

“Despite Florida’s constitutional protections, the legal landscape in the state has changed as DeSantis has appointed new, more-conservative judges,” Darryl Coote reported. Four of the seven Florida Supreme Court justices were selected by Gov. DeSantis. 

Florida previously allowed abortion through the  24th week. 

Categories: Judicial