Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee voted to pass House Bill 5 (HB 5), a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks and criminalize doctors who offer abortion care to patients after 15 weeks. 

Kara Gross, ACLU of Florida’s legislative director and senior policy counsel, responded to today’s vote with the following: 

“This bill is unnecessary, unpopular, and unconstitutional. The government should never be able to force people to carry a pregnancy against their will, yet, that’s exactly what some Florida lawmakers want to do. Medical decisions should be made between patients and their doctors, not politicians. Every Floridian deserves access to health care without barriers or political roadblocks. 

“Denying access to safe and legal reproductive care falls hardest on people who already face systemic racism and discrimination in this country: People of color, people who are undocumented, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, as well as people who have low-incomes, or live in rural areas. This bill will continue to reinforce the structural inequalities within Florida’s already broken health care system.

“Reproductive freedom means having the ability to control one’s life at the most basic level: our bodies, our families, and our future. That’s why the majority of Floridians overwhelmingly support access to safe and legal abortion care. 

The decision about whether and when to become a parent is one of the most important decisions we make. We should be free to make this decision in consultation with medical providers and those we love and trust, and without barriers, political interference, and the government regulating our bodies. Florida lawmakers need to stop this bill now. ”