Florida Defends 24-Hour Waiting Period Law That Helps Women and Saves Babies From Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 6, 2016   |   5:47PM   |   Tallahassee, FL

Abortion activists have not given up their fight to stop a Florida 24-hour waiting period law from taking effect.

The 2015 law requires women to wait 24 hours between visits to an abortion facility before having an abortion. The waiting period gives women time to consider their options after their initial consultation at the abortion clinic and prevents them from being rushed into an irreversible decision.

In February, the 1st District Court of Appeals ordered that the law take effect, overturning a block put in place by a circuit court judge, LifeNews reported. Abortion activists appealed the decision.

This week, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi urged the state Supreme Court to uphold the law and reject the abortion activists’ appeal, according to CBS Miami.



The report continues:

Plaintiffs in the case then went to the Supreme Court, contending in part that the law “prevents a woman seeking an abortion from having the procedure for at least 24 hours after meeting with her physician, and requires her to make an additional, medically unnecessary trip to her doctor. As a result of the DCA (District Court of Appeal) order, these unprecedented restrictions on the fundamental right to privacy are currently in effect.”

But in a brief filed Monday, Bondi’s office argued the Supreme Court should not take up the case. The brief said the appeals court ruled that a circuit judge did not show adequate “factual findings” to impose the injunction.

“Petitioners (the plaintiffs) claim that a duly enacted law is facially unconstitutional,” the state’s brief said. “But in order to obtain the extraordinary relief of enjoining a law as facially invalid, petitioners must satisfy their heavy burden to put forth in the trial court competent, substantial evidence establishing the elements necessary to sustain an injunction. … They have not done so.”

The law received wide support in the legislature when it passed in 2015. However, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, and Richard Johnson of Tallahassee quickly challenged the measure in June 2015 on behalf of Bread and Roses Women’s Health Center, an abortion business in Florida, LifeNews reported.

The law makes Florida the 27th state to require that women pause to reflect at least 24 hours before getting an abortion.

When they adopted the legislation, members of the Florida 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 at age 23, Sullivan said she has witnessed women being pressured by their loved ones — especially a spouse or a boyfriend — to make a hasty decision about having an abortion.

“I care about the women who have sat in my office,” she said. “I care about the women who have cried in committee.”

A 2014 Rasmussen poll found that Americans favor mandatory waiting periods for women before they have abortions.