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Florida Abortion Laws

Summary

Abortion is legal in Florida until the gestational age of the fetus is 15 weeks. After that, abortion is only permitted if necessary to save the pregnant woman's life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition, of the pregnant woman

Introduction

Florida's abortion laws are, generally speaking, more restrictive than those in many other states.

In 1989, the Florida Supreme Court declared that the right to privacy under the state constitution included a pre-viability right to abortion. In 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks. A state-court judge subsequently enjoined (prohibited) the enforcement of the 2022 law, which injunction has been stayed by virtue of an appeal filed by the Florida Attorney General.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, the case that had recognized a federal constitutional right to a post-viability abortion. Dobbs returned the issue of abortion regulation to the states and had no effect on Florida law or the 2022 state-court injunction. This area of law is highly fluid.

The table below lists the basic provisions of Florida's abortion laws. See Abortion Laws and Abortion Rights FAQs to learn more.

Code Section 390.011, et seq.; 797.02; 797.03
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion Termination of pregnancy after gestational age of 15 weeks which does not meet requirements of legal abortion. Partial Birth Abortion: Prohibited except when necessary to save the life of the mother when her life is physically endangered and no other medical procedure would suffice for that purpose
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Regulated after gestational age of 15 weeks, necessary to save life or preserve health of mother or fetal abnormality and requires 2 physicians' certifications of medical necessity or fetal abnormality unless one physician certifies need for emergency medical abortion and no 2nd physician available
Penalty on Abortion Provider for Unlawful Abortion Third-degree felony, imprisonment up to 5 yrs.; or 2nd-degree misdemeanor for performing legal abortion in unlawful place, up to 60 days imprisonment; Fines: 3rd-degree felony, up to $5,000; 2nd-degree misdemeanor, up to $500
Consent Requirements Voluntary written consent of mother or of the court-appointed guardian of a mentally incompetent woman, except in a medical emergency [§390.01115 held unconstitutional in North Florida Women's Health and Counseling Services, Inc. v. State, 2003 WL 21546546 (Fla. July 10, 2003)]
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements Validly licensed hospital, or medical facility; after 15 weeks only in hospital

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Florida health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources for Florida Abortion Laws:

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