HB 233 Facilities Regulation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 19, 2016
CONTACT:  Michelle Richardson, 786-363-2713
April Salter at 850-508-7040 (cell)
Kathy Putnam at 407-745-1154 (office) or 321-279-4088 (cell)

Tallahassee, FL - Michelle Richardson, Director of Public Policy, ACLU of Florida responded to the bill stating:

“The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida strongly opposes this bill, which is part of a nationwide movement to limit access to safe and legal abortions. These types of laws targeting abortion clinics for medically unnecessary restrictions are opposed by the American Medical Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They have been blocked from taking effect in other states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

In Texas in 2014, a similar bill passed and is under review by the U.S. Supreme Court and oral arguments will be held on March 2nd, with a ruling expected this summer. Even while that law is limbo, the effects on women’s health have been devastating – the overwhelming majority of clinics in Texas have closed.

“The Florida Legislature’s actions are imprudent, wasteful and unconstitutional – there is simply no compelling reason to move forward with this legislation until the Supreme Court rules.

“Ironically, even as the Legislature debates this dangerous bill, the United States is preparing to recognize the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade this Friday. Today’s committee vote is a reminder of the constant struggle a woman faces in Florida to make her own reproductive health decisions. These personal decisions belong with a woman, her family, and her doctor, not politicians at the Capitol.

“Florida’s constitution contains an explicit guarantee of a right to privacy which, when applied by the courts to a woman’s right to choose abortion, is an incredibly high hurdle. This provision is what caused last year’s 24-hour mandatory waiting period to be enjoined by Florida courts. This bill, if passed, could lead to expensive and unnecessary litigation for the taxpayers of Florida.”