Florida Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Information Law Helping Women

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Information Law Helping Women Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 6, 2006

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday voted to uphold legislation there that required abortion practitioners to give women considering an abortion information they may not otherwise receive beforehand. That information includes a brochure on abortion’s risks and alternatives and pictures of the development of her baby before birth.

The state high court’s unanimous opinion overturned the decision of two lower courts. The justices said the "Women’s Right to Know Act" does not violate the so-called right to privacy under the Florida constitution.

Despite the ruling, the justices also limited the kind of information that can be given.

Though the law does not say this, it said the law was intended to address only medical issues, not economic, psychological, social, religious or other issues. But attorneys for the state agreed to that limited to make sure the law was not struck down.

The Presidential Women’s Center, a West Palm Beach-based abortion business, sued to overturn the law, which the legislature approved in 1997. It never took effect, but, once it does, pro-life advocates believe it will work as it has in other states by significantly reducing the number of abortions.

The Florida chapter of Planned Parenthood also participated in the case.

The abortion facility has 15 days to either ask the Florida Supreme Court for a re-hearing. The law also will not yet go into effect because some other constitutional issues remain at the trial court level.

Bebe Anderson, a staff attorney for the pro-abortion New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, did not indicate what the abortion business will do.

Marshall Osofsky, another pro-abortion attorney in the case, told AP he was disappointed by the decision but glad the court limited the reach of the law.

"Those were our main concerns," Osofsky said. "That provides us some level of satisfaction."

Meanwhile, Governor Jeb Bush was happy with the ruling, AP reported.

"Women ought to be given the options available to them before they make that decision," Bush said. "I’m very pleased."

The Christian Medical Association and the Catholic Medical Association filed amicus briefs in the case supporting the pro-life law. Approximately 30 states have such informed consent laws on the books.