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Florida judge blocks 24-hour abortion waiting period

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On Tuesday, Florida Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis blocked the state’s 24-hour waiting period for abortion just before it was to take effect July 1, CBS News reports.

Florida’s waiting period would have become the 27th in the nation and made exceptions for rape, incest, domestic abuse, or human trafficking victims, provided documentation of such claims is provided.

Siding with the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Reproductive Rights, Francis, who was appointed by former Governor Jeb Bush, ruled that the law violated the state Constitution’s guarantee of a “right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life.” He dismissed claims that other states’ courts have upheld similar laws on the grounds that Florida’s privacy provision is broader.

According to USA Today, the ruling is a temporary injunction, not a final judgment. Neither Florida Right to Life nor Governor Rick Scott have responded to the decision yet, but at the time of the bill’s signing, Florida RTL President Lynda Bell noted that “No major surgical procedure is done the same day a surgical procedure is recommended!”

The US Supreme Court ruled in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey that the federal Constitution does not prohibit states from enacting such laws: “the waiting period helps ensure that a woman’s decision to abort is a well considered one, and rationally furthers the State’s legitimate interest in maternal health and in unborn life. It may delay, but does not prohibit, abortions; and both it and the informed consent provisions do not apply in medical emergencies.”

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