Abortion waiting period law back in place
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A temporary pause on the state's 24-hour abortion waiting period law is back in place. A Leon County judge made the decision late Thursday to temporarily block the law again.
The American Civil Liberties Union was granted a temporary injunction Wednesday, but an appeal from Attorney General Pam Bondi meant the law went into effect as scheduled on Wednesday. The judge vacated the appeal. It will now be decided whether the law itself is constitutional.
The temporary pause on the lawsuit Wednesday was only meant to provide clarity while the judge decided the overall case of whether or not the law was constitutional.
July 1 is typically a day where new laws take effect and plenty did in Florida -- 130 new rules hit Floridians Wednesday, but at least one was left up in the air.
The American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged a 24-hour abortion waiting period law that had a July 1 start date. It requires women to wait 24 hours and make two visits to the clinic before they can get an abortion.
A judge had granted a temporary injunction late Tuesday.
"This law had absolutely no medical justification," ACLU legal director Nancy Abudu said. "It was completely grounded in politics, and at the end of the day the state was unable to satisfy its burden of showing why this law was medically necessary."
Attorneys for the state argued the law isn't an added burden on women.
"This is still her decision to make. There is nothing in this law that is taking away her right to make a decision, the question of whether there's a 24-hour wait giving her time to contemplate the full impact and ramifications of the decision is obviously what we've been talking about," said Blaine Winship, state special counsel.
The judge didn't agree, but soon after the ruling, Florida's attorney general appealed the decision. That meant the law went on the books Wednesday.
The case is one of many challenges the state has had to defend against.
The legal challenge comes on the heels of a recently settled lawsuit between the state and ACLU over the governor's failed push to drug test welfare recipients and state workers. Taxpayers picked up the tab for legal fees, and the cost was more than $1.5 million.
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