A Florida court has blocked a new pro-life law establishing a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law after it sailed through the state legislature after the Senate voted 26-13 and the state House 77-41.
Florida joined 26 other states which require that women pause to reflect at least 24 hours before getting an abortion. But, today, a state court judge blocked the law from taking effect on July 1, issuing an injunction preventing enforcement of the law while a legal battle against it continues.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, and Richard Johnson of Tallahassee challenged the measure earlier this month on behalf of Bread and Roses Women’s Health Center, an abortion business.
When they adopted the legislation, members of the state legislature pointed out how similar laws in other states have stopped abortions.
“This is not a procedure — it is a life,” said State Rep. Jimmie Smith Referring to the bill’s author, freshman Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, Smith added, “Representative Sullivan, the greatest consequence of your bill is a beautiful baby.”
“I am here today as an advocate for those women who are being pressured,” Rep. Sullivan said. According to Margie Menzel of the News Service of Florida
Elected last year at age 23, Sullivan has said she has witnessed pressure placed upon women by their loved ones — especially a spouse or a boyfriend — to make a hasty decision about having abortions.
“I care about the women who have sat in my office,” she said. “I care about the women who have cried in committee.”
Ingrid Delgado of the Florida Catholic Conference thanked Governor Scott for signing the measure.
“This new law ensures that a woman who seeks an abortion in Florida receives 24 hours to reflect on information provided by a physician before proceeding with the termination of her pregnancy. This good legislation gives women one day to reflect upon the risks of abortion, one day to view the image of her unborn child’s ultrasound, and one day to consult with friends, family and faith,” she said. “By joining the 26 states that currently require women to wait a specified period of time before obtaining an abortion, including the neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama, Florida will no longer be a destination for those seeking to rush an irreversible decision that ends the life of a child and affects the woman’s life for years to come.”
“When we recall major life decisions, we recognize that we find it prudent to gather all the necessary information and take some time to think. Rather than ask what the cost will be for women to make a second visit to terminate a pregnancy, we should be concerned with the human costs of not having a reflection period,” she added.