New filings are submitted in a lawsuit challenging Florida's 15-week abortion ban
The challenge comes as the Legislature considers bills that would prevent abortions after six weeks. A House panel is slated to take up the new measure Thursday. A Senate panel is scheduled to do so Monday.
Seven organizations have filed amicus briefs urging the Florida Supreme Court to rule against the state's law banning abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
In June, several health care providers and advocacy groups filed a lawsuit challenging the law as unconstitutional under the privacy clause of the Florida Constitution.
In January, the Florida Supreme Court agreed to hear the case but has not yet set a date.
The challenge comes as the Legislature is considering bills that would prevent abortions after six weeks. The measures provide for exceptions for survivors of rape and incest up to 15 weeks, with proof.
Daniel Tilley is legal director of the ACLU of Florida, one of the groups suing the state over the 15-week ban.
"Politicians have no place getting between patients and their doctors,” Tilley said. “They didn't have any place at the 15-week ban and they certainly don't have any place with this six-week ban. It would deny even more Floridians the ability to control their own lives, their own bodies, their own futures, and this is absolutely not something that Floridians support. It’s time for us to stop jumping through hoops and put an end to this blatantly unconstitutional law that takes the freedom of choice away from Floridians.”
Tilley says the legal briefs tell a range of stories that highlight the impact of Florida’s current 15-week ban.
“These amicus briefs make the clear case that pregnant people should be able to determine for themselves whether and when to have a child, free from governmental interference,” Tilley said. "We hear about doctors who are being threatened with professional discipline and it leads to these really agonizing scenes of patients suffering that are the obvious consequence of these types of restrictions."
Tilley says the state's next move would be to submit a response brief to the latest court filing.
The House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee is scheduled to hold an initial hearing on the six-week ban on Thursday. The Senate Health Policy Committee is scheduled to take up the bill Monday.
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