TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida and other reproductive health providers challenged a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy in state court in Tallahassee on Monday.
Lawyers representing Planned Parenthood argued before Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper that the ban violates privacy rights protected by the state constitution.
Cooper said he needs time to read the depositions and reconvene Thursday to hear closing arguments before making a decision.
“I want to do the job to the best of my ability,” Cooper said.
bill 5 House bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in April, reduces the current 24-week ban starting Friday. The new law does not include exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking.
“HB 5 directly affects the sanctity and privacy of the doctor-patient relationship,” Dr. Shelly Tien, a Planned Parenthood gynecologist, said during her testimony Monday in court.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida and the law firm Jenner & Block filed the lawsuit June 1.
“We will do everything in our power to block this vicious attack on the fundamental right of Floridians to receive the care they need,” said Daniel Tilley, legal director of the ACLU of Florida, in a statement after the presentation.
Representan a Planned Parenthood del Suroeste y Centro de Florida; Planned Parenthood del Sur, Este y Norte de Florida; Gainesville Woman Care; Indian Rocks Woman’s Center; St. Petersburg Woman’s Health Center; Tampa Woman’s Health Center; y A Woman’s Choice de Jacksonville.
Tien said limiting access to abortions will hit women and girls living in poverty the hardest.
“Patients may need abortion care after 15 weeks for many reasons, whether related to a health problem that develops as the pregnancy progresses or to delays in care directly related to inequity in access. to medical care,” Tien said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed.
April Otterberg, a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, also issued a statement saying that HB5 unconstitutionally limits people’s right to access abortion services and that the lawsuit seeks to block its enforcement.
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