Health

Florida Court Enforces 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

| by Diana Kruzman
Members Of The Florida ACLU, Which Challenged The Waiting Period LawMembers Of The Florida ACLU, Which Challenged The Waiting Period Law

A 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions will take effect in Florida after an appeals court ordered the enforcement of the law.

The 1t District Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel ruled on Feb. 26 to lift an injunction blocking the law from taking effect, according to The Associated Press. The waiting period applies to all women who want to have an abortion in Florida, with exceptions for victims of rape, incest, domestic abuse or human trafficking.

After the law was passed by the Florida state legislature in 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Gainesville abortion clinic, arguing that the 24-hour waiting period violated Florida residents’ right to privacy by creating an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

Judge Charles Francis, the chief judge for the north Florida circuit court, blocked the law one day before it was scheduled to take effect in July. After an appeal from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office, the First District Court of Appeals granted a stay on the ruling while it reviewed the law in greater detail, according to The Daily Signal.

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The new decision by the appeals court rests on the basis that Francis did not have enough evidence to support blocking the law.

Pro-life activists such as Lynda Bell, the president of Florida Right to Life, praised the ruling, saying that “a 24-hour waiting period makes sense.”

“[A waiting period] not only protects women and young girls from making a rash decision at a very difficult time, it could protect them from being pressured into abortion from much older boyfriends, or others who are trying to coerce a young woman into a procedure that may affect them for the rest of their lives,” Bell told The Daily Signal.

Others see the ruling as a setback, including ACLU of Florida Legal Director Nancy Abudu, who called the law “an unconstitutional attack on the right of Florida women to make their own choices about their health care, including abortion.”

Sources: AP via ABC News, The Daily Signal / Photo credit: Denise Wauters Johnson/Flickr

 
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