Florida Supreme Court Suspends Pro-Life Law for Waiting Period Before an Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 25, 2016   |   5:50PM   |   Tallahassee, FL

Just two months after a 24-hour abortion waiting period in Florida went in effect, abortion activists convinced the Florida Supreme Court to block the measure again.

The high court granted abortion activists’ request on Friday to temporarily stop the measure while their challenge moves through the courts, according to the Miami Herald. The abortion groups are arguing that the law violates privacy protections in the Florida Constitution; however, a circuit court has not ruled yet on the actual arguments of the case, the report states.

The law requires women to wait 24 hours after counseling to have an abortion. It is similar to laws in 30 other states that require women to pause to reflect at least 24 hours before having an abortion.

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This is the second time a court has blocked the law, which received wide-spread support when it passed the legislature in 2015. The law went into effect in February after the 1st District Court of Appeals overturned a block put in place by a circuit court judge.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said in a statement that he was disappointed that the state Supreme Court ruled on the side of the abortion activists.

“It appears that several of our justices seem to believe it is their job to invalidate any action of the legislature, regardless of the law and constitution,” Crisafulli said. “I do hope that our next appointees will have a better understanding and appreciation for the true role of our courts.”

The abortion groups behind the challenge are the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, and Richard Johnson of Tallahassee and the Bread and Roses Women’s Health Center, a Florida abortion business, LifeNews reported.

On Friday, ACLU attorney Julia Kaye celebrated the decision and hoped the courts would reject the entire law in the near future.

“We hope the court will ultimately agree that Florida women are capable of making decisions about their health and their families without political interference,” Kaye told the Miami Herald.

When they adopted the legislation, members of the Florida legislature pointed out how similar laws in other states have saved babies and their mothers from 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 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.”

During the debate in the Senate, Sen. Anitere Flores, one of the bill sponsors, said, “One day to reflect upon the risks of abortion, one day to view an image of the unborn child’s ultrasound image, and one day to consult with friends, family and faith are minimal considering the effects that will remain for a lifetime beyond that irreversible decision.”

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