Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Strictest Abortion Ban in State History
Contact: Damien Filer, [email protected]
For Immediate Release: April 14, 2022
HB 5 will ban virtually all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the strictest abortion ban in Florida’s history: a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking and extremely narrow exceptions for maternal life and health. If this law takes effect as scheduled on July 1, Floridians needing abortion care after that point will be forced to travel hundreds — if not thousands — of miles, even if they themselves are facing serious health complications.
Florida’s abortion ban is the same as the ban being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a pivotal case for abortion rights that could unravel Roe v. Wade’s protections for the right to abortion. But Florida has its own constitutional protection for reproductive privacy: Article I, Section 23 of the state constitution. Despite the fact that this intrusive ban is plainly unconstitutional, anti-abortion legislators in Florida pushed HB 5 through hearings and late-night votes — and rejected dozens of amendments intended to mitigate the ban’s harms.
Florida’s abortion ban is the latest move in a national strategy to eliminate abortion access. Lawmakers in many states, including Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, have sought — some of them successfully — to enact extreme bans on abortion this year, spurred by the prospect that the Supreme Court is about to overturn or severely weaken Roe v. Wade.
Statement from Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida:
“This abortion ban is an attack on our most fundamental freedoms – the right to control our own bodies, our own futures. For politicians like Ron DeSantis to put themselves between patients and health care providers making personal medical decisions is outrageous. If these politicians think the fight against this abortion ban is over they are sadly mistaken. We won’t rest until our rights are restored. No one has the right to control what we can and cannot do with our own bodies. This is an appalling display of how anti-abortion politicians are not only out of touch with their constituents, but lacking compassion for the people they are elected to serve.”
Statement from Alexandra Mandado, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida:
“We are appalled that this abortion ban was signed. Not only will it prevent health care providers — including those at Planned Parenthood — from giving their patients the best care possible, but it will limit options for people in many complex and potentially life threatening situations. We are exploring every option to stop this unconstitutional ban from being implemented. Floridians deserve better from their elected leaders.History will judge these politicians harshly for this blatant attempt to advance a political agenda over sound science and bodily autonomy.”
Statement from Laura Goodhue, Executive Director, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates:
“By signing this cruel piece of legislation, Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken away Floridians’ freedom to control their own bodies. The so-called ‘Free State of Florida’ will never be truly free so long as politicians like DeSantis are able to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. To be clear: this is a full-scale assault on patients and their health care providers. All pregnant people should have the freedom to make their own medical decisions in consultation with their doctor, family and faith. This abortion ban is a clear example of politicians attempting to control those deeply personal decisions.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Nobody should be forced to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles for essential health care — but in signing this bill, Gov. Desantis will be forcing Floridians seeking abortion to do just that. Floridians want to be able to make decisions about their health and their families, without interference from politicians. They want the protections guaranteed by their state’s constitution. This ban runs counter to all of these goals. Planned Parenthood pledges to stand with patients and fight this until people can get the care they deserve.”
This ban will particularly harm Black, Latino and Indigenous people, those with low incomes, and people in rural areas, who will likely face the greatest barriers to abortion access when this dangerous new law takes effect. But Planned Parenthood isn’t going anywhere. Our clinics are still open and still providing abortion care. We will continue doing everything in our power to provide quality and affordable medical care in Florida — no matter what.
The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates is the nonpartisan advocacy and political organization representing Florida’s two Planned Parenthood affiliates. The Alliance engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing to promote the Planned Parenthood mission.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.