Media Contact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 26, 2024
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

February 26, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, the Senate Rules Committee temporarily postponed Senate Bill 476 (SB 476). This bill would make it harder for Floridians to access abortion care by subjecting healthcare providers and friends and family members who assist their loved ones in accessing abortion care to frivolous lawsuits for monetary damages.

The bill has passed two of its respective senate committees, and all of its house committees, and is ready to be heard in the House chamber.

The ACLU of Florida opposes this harmful bill.

Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel at the ACLU of Florida, responded to each with the following:

“Let’s be honest: this bill is not about helping grieving families with pregnancy loss.

“Under our current laws, Floridians who lose a pregnancy due to the wrongful acts of another are permitted to recover money damages for their pain and suffering resulting from the loss of a pregnancy—this is a recognized measure of pain and suffering and emotional distress damages. Thus, this bill is unnecessary for that purpose.

“What this bill does, that current law doesn't do, is subject healthcare providers to harassing litigation by domestic abusers, rapists, and anyone else who impregnates someone else from the moment of conception. It also opens the door to the types of harassing litigation we are seeing in Texas, where an abusive ex-husband is suing the best friends of his ex-wife because they supported her in accessing an abortion.

“This bill would have a chilling effect on doctors providing necessary health care, on patients seeking the care they need, and on family members and friends who support their loved one seeking access to abortion care.

“What we know from this past month in Alabama and what we’ve seen so far in Florida, is that anti-abortion extremists are not going to stop at a 6-week ban, they are not going to stop with allowing frivolous civil lawsuits against providers and friends, and families, they are not going to stop with banning IVF. Their goal is complete government control over any individual reproductive freedoms and this is one more step that takes them closer to that goal. Enough is enough.

“What was unthinkable a year ago is now a reality in Alabama. IVF clinics are pausing their operations. Florida’s legislature needs to really take a hard and careful look at what the unintended impacts to IVF in Florida could be going forward. Senate members have the opportunity to do the right thing here and we urge them to shut down this bill. ”