Abortion providers challenge Florida’s 15-week ban

U.S.

People hold placards as they protest against Florida’s 15-week abortion ban in front of the office of State Senator Ileana Garcia,a strong supporter of the ban, in Coral Gables, Florida, on January 21, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — A group of abortion providers is challenging the state constitutionality of a Florida bill that will ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

There’s a chance that you haven’t heard about this story. Only four right-leaning outlets have reported on the topic, according to NewsNation’s partner Ground News’ Blindspot report. Forty-two percent of outlets that reported on this issue were left-leaning. The majority of news coverage, 49%, has been from outlets aligned in the center of the political spectrum.

Planned Parenthood and other Florida providers filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Tallahassee. They seek a permanent injunction that would stop the law from taking effect on July 1, arguing that the bill “will force Floridians to remain pregnant against their will.”

“Floridians want to be able to make decisions about their health and their families, without interference from politicians,” the 33-page civil complaint reads. “They want the protections guaranteed by their state’s constitution. This ban runs counter to all of these goals. “

When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill on April 14, he said he was taking a step to “defend those who can’t defend themselves.”

“This will represent the most significant protections of life that have been enacted in this state in a generation,” DeSantis said at the time.

The bill marks the latest of DeSantis’ efforts toward abortion. In June 2020, he signed a bill requiring written consent from a minor’s parent or legal guardian for an abortion. 

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that suggested the nation’s highest court is poised to overturn the landmark abortion access case Roe v. Wade.

A NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll from May found that the majority of voters (56%) believe the 1973 Supreme Court decision shouldn’t be overturned.

A separate Marquette Law School Poll national survey determined that approval of the U.S. Supreme Court fell to 44%, after the draft opinion was leaked.

The revelation spurred abortion rights protests throughout the country. It also prompted some states to prepare so-called trigger laws that would effectively ban abortion if the case were overturned.

Florida isn’t one of those states, but a ban on abortion after 15 weeks would have “devastating effects” on abortion access,” according to the lawsuit.

Those with the means may travel far distances to seek care where it’s still available or try to end the pregnancy on their own outside of a medical office, according to the lawsuit.

DeSantis, however, called the bill a “a statement of our values that every life is important.”

This story is part of NewsNation’s new “Blindspot” initiative in partnership with Ground News to provide readers with contextual, unbiased news they may not find covered by every media outlet.

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