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Appeals court says Florida can enforce 24-hour abortion waiting period

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The First District Court of Appeals has again denied pro-abortion efforts to block implementation of Florida’s 24-hour abortion waiting period.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the abortion facility Gainesville Woman Care LLC, and Medical Students for Choice had filed suit against the law, claiming it infringed on both abortion seekers’ access to healthcare and right to privacy. A Leon County circuit court judge had initially granted an injunction, which was overturned by a three-judge panel of the First District in February.

Now the full court has doubled down on that decision, ruling the circuit judge had failed to show an injunction was necessary.

27 states require waiting periods for abortion. Florida’s law does not apply to abortions sought due to rape, incest, domestic abuse, or human trafficking.

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The case has been appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which has not yet decided whether it will take it. However, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the US Supreme Court upheld 24-hour waiting periods as constitutional because they “help[] ensure that a woman’s decision to abort is a well-considered one, and rationally further[] the State’s legitimate interest in maternal health and in unborn life.”

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