(Updated 03.13.23) On June 1, 2022, the Center for Reproductive Rights and its partners filed a lawsuit on behalf of Florida health care providers challenging the state’s law, HB 5, which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors who perform abortions in violation of the law are subject to felony criminal penalties and disciplinary action, including loss of licensure. The law took effect on July 1.
On August 10 and again on August 31, Florida health care providers sought review in the Florida Supreme Court, after lower court decisions closed off meaningful legal avenues to block HB 5. Plaintiffs requested review of appellate court decisions that allowed the law to take effect and for an emergency restoration of the temporary injunction granted by the trial court.
On January 23, 2023, the Florida Supreme Court announced it will hear the providers’ challenge to the law. Oral arguments are not yet scheduled.
The case argues that the abortion ban is unconstitutional under the Florida state constitution, which contains an explicit privacy clause that protects individuals’ right to privacy, including abortion. The Florida Supreme Court has treated abortion like other privacy rights—including medical decision-making and non-disclosure of personal information, meaning that laws implicating the privacy right receive the most searching judicial scrutiny. In 2012, voters in Florida overwhelmingly voted against an amendment to the constitution that would have removed those protections.
Floridians already face burdensome restrictions to getting an abortion —including a ban on insurance plans on the state exchange covering abortion; a parental consent requirement that makes it harder for young people to get abortions; and a law requiring people to make an additional, unnecessary trip to an abortion provider before receiving care.
Plaintiff(s): Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida; Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida; Gainesville Woman Care; Indian Rocks Woman’s Center; St. Petersburg Woman’s Health Center; Tampa Woman’s Health Center; and A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville.
Respondent(s): State of Florida, Florida Department of Health, Florida Board of Medicine, Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine, Florida Board of Nursing, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
Center Attorney(s): Autumn Katz, Caroline Sacerdote
Co-counsel/Cooperating Attorney(s): The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Florida, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the law firm Jenner & Block
- March 3, 2022: The Florida State Senate votes to pass HB 5.
- April 14, 2022: Governor Ron DeSantis signs HB 5 into law, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1.
- June 1, 2022: The Center and partners file lawsuit asking the court to block the ban from taking effect.
- June 30, 2022: Florida court indicates it will issue an order blocking the law.
- July 1, 2022: Ban takes effect.
- July 5, 2022: Trial court issues order granting temporary injunction. Defendants file appeal triggering automatic stay and ban remains in effect.
- July 21, 2022: Plaintiffs’ request to lift the stay and reinstate the block of the law denied by Florida Court of Appeals.
- August 19, 2022: Plaintiffs file request to Florida Supreme Court asking for review of appellate court decision and to reinstate the block of the law.
- August 24, 2022: Florida Court of Appeals issues decision reversing July 5 trial court order granting temporary injunction.
- August 31, 2022: Plaintiffs file request to Florida Supreme Court asking for review of appellate court decision.
- January 23, 2023: The Florida Supreme Court announces it will hear the providers’ challenge to the law. Oral arguments are not yet scheduled.
- March 9, 2023: Seven amicus briefs are filed by leading medical organizations, elected officials, law professors, reproductive justice groups, and others in support of the case.
- Complaint Filed in Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, et al. v. State Of Florida, et al., 06.01.22
- Plaintiffs’ Motion for Temporary Injunction, 06.01.22
- Defendants’ Response to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Emergency Temporary Injunction, 06.20.22
- Plaintiffs’ Reply in Support of Motion for Temporary Injunction, 06.24.22
- Order Granting Temporary Injunction, 07.05.22
- Defendants’ Notice of Appeal, 07.05.22
- Notice to Invoke Discretionary Jurisdiction, 08.10.22
- Petitioner’s Brief on Jurisdiction, 08.19.22
- Floridians for Reproductive Freedom’s Amicus Curiae Brief for Petitioners, 03.09.23
- ACOG, AMA, & Society for MFM Amicus Curiae Brief for Petitioners, 03.09.23
- Elected Officials Amicus Curiae Brief for Petitioners, 03.09.23
- FL Justice & Reproductive Justice Orgs. Amicus Curiae Motion & Brief for Petitioners, 03.09.23
- Law Professors’ Amicus Brief for Petitioners, 03.09.23
- Religious Groups’ Amicus Curiae Brief for Petitioners, 03.09.23
- Sanctuary for Families’ Amicus Curiae Brief for Petitioners, 03.09.23
News on the Case:
- Florida Bans Abortion After 15 Weeks of Pregnancy, 03.04.22
- Florida Health Centers Challenge 15-Week Abortion Ban in State Court, 06.01.22
- Lawsuit to Block Florida’s Abortion Ban is Based on State’s Constitutional Protections, 06.10.22
- Florida Court Will Block 15-Week Abortion Ban, 06.30.22
- Florida 15-Week Abortion Ban Heads to State Supreme Court, 08.10.22
- Amicus Briefs Filed to Support Case Against Florida Abortion Ban, 03.13.23