West Palm Beach Today, the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Florida struck down an informed consent law, ruling it unconstitutional. The law would have forced abortion providers to communicate biased information to their patients.Currently, all of Florida’s physicians, including abortion providers, are already subject to informed consent requirements. According to existing law, doctors must provide their patients with appropriate information specific to their circumstances. The invalid law would have changed those requirements, but only for abortion providers.The appellate court found the statute “runs afoul of Florida law” including violating the Florida Constitution’s strong right to privacy and being so vague that physicians would have to guess how to comply.The judges held that “By not allowing a physician to tailor the [provided] information to the woman’s circumstances, [the Act] infringes on the woman’s ability to receive her physician’s opinion as to what is best for her.””This law clearly interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. It is so heartless it would have forced a rape or incest survivor to discuss the option of carrying her pregnancy to term with her doctor,” said Marshall Osofsky of Moyle, Flanigan, Katz, Raymond and Sheehan, P.A., lead counsel in the case.As the appellate court noted, such a statute interferes with “the right of a woman seeking an abortion ‘to be alone and free from governmental intrusion into [her] private life’.””Biased counseling laws are part of an ongoing campaign by the anti-choice movement to mislead women when they are making a personal decision about their pregnancies. Rather than inform women, these laws misinform them and often in an insulting and harmful way,” said Bebe Anderson, staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights and co-counsel in the case.Florida’s biased counseling law has been enjoined since it was enacted in 1997. Florida’s general informed consent law continues to be in effect and requires all doctors, including abortion providers, to tell their patients information specific to their circumstances.The plaintiffs in State v. Presidential Women’s Center are Presidential Women’s Center and Dr. Michael Benjamin. They are represented by Marshall Osofsky of Moyle, Flanigan, Katz, Raymond and Sheehan, P.A. and Bebe Anderson of the Center for Reproductive Rights.