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Florida Appeals Court OKs Forced Waiting Period Law

Jessica Mason Pieklo

The ruling lifts an injunction blocking a measure that mandates patients wait an additional 24 hours and make at least one additional trip to a doctor before having an abortion.

A Florida state appeals court ruled last week that a 2015 law, which forces a patient to wait at least 24 hours and make at least one additional trip to a doctor before having an abortion, can take effect.

Florida GOP lawmakers passed HB 633 in June. Reproductive rights advocates sued, arguing the measure was unconstitutional in part because advocates claim it fails to include any protections for a patient whose pregnancy threatens the person’s health, or a meaningful exception for survivors of rape, incest, or intimate partner violence.

A state trial court temporarily blocked the measure in late June.

“We are disappointed that the court reached this decision given the hardship this law poses to many Florida women, but we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that this demeaning and intrusive law is stopped in its tracks,” Nancy Abudu, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, said in a statement following the ruling.

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Attorneys from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and the ACLU vowed to ask the Florida Supreme Court to step in and reinstate a temporary injunction that would block the anti-choice law from taking effect while the litigation proceeds.

“When a woman has made the decision to end a pregnancy, she needs compassionate care—not insulting and potentially dangerous delays mandated by politicians who presume to know better,” Autumn Katz, senior staff attorney at CRR, said in a statement. “We vow to fight this law until the courts permanently strike it down, ensuring that Florida women are able to get the health care they need.”

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