A Florida just has upheld a pro-life law that will help women and save babies from abortion.
After nearly seven years of court battles, Judge Angela Dempsey issued a ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a 2015 law that called for women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion so they can consider the humanity of unborn babies and abortion’s risks and alternatives.
Then Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has previously signed pro-life bills including defunding Planned Parenthood in Florida, signed the legislation, House Bill 633, into law in June 2015. However, lower courts blocked the law from going into effect while the battle over the constitutionality of the law itself continued.
Judge Dempsey granted the state’s motion for summary judgment, rejecting the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenges to the law and arguing that “it is now clear that similarly invasive procedures are typically subject to de facto waiting periods,” and “the Act merely brings abortions in line with the standard of care.”
Dempsey indicated during a hearing last month that she would uphold the law but did not issue the ruling until now. Also, Dempsey rejected a request from plaintiffs to put the ruling on hold while they pursue an appeal because abortion companies couldn’t show they would suffer irreparable harm by having the law enforced.
“They merely argue that a stay would avoid harm to ‘Floridians’ privacy rights before the appellate courts have the opportunity to weigh in.’ But the state, not the plaintiffs, represents ‘Floridians.’ If plaintiffs want the extraordinary remedy of a stay, they must demonstrate why they will be harmed absent a stay. They have not done so,” Dempsey wrote in the 24-page ruling.
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“This court does not believe that the 24-hour waiting period is a significant intrusion into that right,” Dempsey wrote. “Twenty-six other states have similar restrictions, some of which have been in effect for many years. Moreover, plaintiffs can point to no evidence that these laws have prevented any women — let alone all women — who desire an abortion from obtaining one,” Dempsey wrote.
Christie Arnold of the Florida Catholic Bishops praised the ruling, telling LifeNews: “The 24-hour reflection period is a reasonable measure that will empower women to make truly informed, deliberate decisions apart from the abortion industry’s pressures.”
Arnold explained that waiting periods are established in law for other significant decisions such as entering into marriage (three days), dissolving a marriage (20 days), purchasing a handgun (three days), and cremating a loved one (48 hours). This law brings Florida into alignment with 26 other states with waiting periods after mandated counseling from the abortionist before obtaining an abortion. These include the two states bordering Florida – Georgia (24-hour reflection period) and Alabama (48-hour reflection period).
Blaine Winship, special counsel to the Florida Attorney General, stated the bill does not violate privacy laws outlined in the Florida Constitution. Winship noted the law did not prevent a woman from going through with an abortion, it just ensured that there was a 24-hour waiting period in place.
“The state wields the police power to protect the health and safety of the people,” Winship said, according to the National Right for Life. “The question of whether there is a 24-hour wait for her to contemplate the full impact and ramifications of her decision is obviously what we’ve been talking about.”
Winship also brought up a 2006 Florida Supreme Court ruling that upheld the state Women’s Right to Know Act, which requires abortion facilities to tell women about the risks of abortion and alternatives available to her, according to WJXT/News 4.
Pro-life groups argue that these waiting periods allow women to process this information before going through with the abortion. They also can help to protect women from being rushed into making a decision.
Winship continued: “It’s what the Legislature aimed to try to protect, and in that regard, women will still have their privacy, they’ll still have the opportunity to have an abortion if they want to, the only question is whether there will be a 24-hour waiting period or not.”
While the legislation is a starting point in the crusade to protecting life, pro-lifers everywhere await the day when these abortion centers will be forever closed, and there will be no need for waiting periods for procedures that do not enhance quality of life for either the mother or the child, but end innocent lives.