24-Hour Abortion Delay Law Blocked by Florida Judge

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Florida Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis issued an order to stop enforcement of a recently passed Florida law requiring a woman seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours earlier today.

House Bill (HB) 633 was passed on June 10 and was set to take effect tomorrow, July 1.

“The bill allows a physician to perform an abortion less than 24 hours after presenting the required information upon request of the pregnant woman if she presents a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation evidencing she is obtaining the abortion because she is a victim of rape, incest, domestic violence, or human trafficking,” according to Rep. Sullivan.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of Bread and Roses, a Gainesville reproductive health care provider, and Medical Students for Choice. The groups argued that the law violates the right to privacy guaranteed in the state constitution by interfering with the right of women to undergo the procedure.

ACLU of Florida Legal Director Nancy Abudu expresses how they are very pleased that the court saw this law for what it is: an unconstitutional attack on the right of Florida women to make their own choices about their healthcare, including abortion.

“The Florida Constitution’s guarantee of a right to privacy protects women from laws like this that create needless roadblocks between them and their healthcare decisions,” said Abudu. “We are pleased that no Florida woman is going to be subject to these dangerous and unconstitutional delays before getting the medical care they need as we complete the legal challenge to this destructive law.”

Before the delay took effect, Florida was set to be the 27th state to have a mandatory waiting period.  

Autumn Katz, Staff Attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights feels that women are fully capable of making thoughtful decisions about their lives, families, and healthcare.

“This ruling will keep them from being second-guessed or delayed by politicians who presume to know better,” said Katz. “We will continue to fight this demeaning law until the courts permanently strike it down and ensure no Florida woman is ever forced to wait for purely political reasons to get the health care she needs.”