Florida FOIA Abortion Report Exemption (HB 215)
This law was last updated on May 9, 2017
HB 215 would exempt a physician abortion report filed with the Department of Health from Florida public record requirements.
The bill would prohibit the department from making such reports available for public inspection, and would require the department to maintain the confidentiality of such reports.
Abortion physician reports would only be made available to the following parties in the following circumstances:
- to the Attorney General or state attorney with appropriate jurisdiction pursuant to a criminal investigation; or
- pursuant to a court order in an action brought under s. 390.301(7).
- This provision pertains to civil and criminal remedies brought forth in HB 203, if passed.
The exemption would apply to all reports before, on, or after January 1, 2018. If passed, the law would be subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act and may stand repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
The bill states that such an exemption is needed in order to protect health-care privacy rights of patients. However, current reporting requirements in Florida are already confidential. The new reporting requirements laid out in HB 203 (which this legislation is linked to) also clearly states that the reports may not include any identifying information of the patient seeking an abortion.
If passed, this bill would take effect at the same time as HB 203 or SB 348.
Linked to HB 203, a proposed 20-week abortion ban.
Identical to SB 342.
Related to SB 348, a proposed 20-week abortion ban.