Fla.'s 24-hour abortion waiting period to start

Posted at 10:11 AM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 11:25:45-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida appeals court on Friday ordered the enforcement of a state law that that requires women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

The 1st District Court of Appeal lifted an injunction that blocked the waiting period from taking effect. In its decision, the three-judge panel contended that a circuit judge did not have enough facts or evidence to support blocking the law.

Judge Charles Francis had blocked the law one day before the waiting period was scheduled to take effect. Francis is chief judge for the north Florida circuit that includes the state capital.

The waiting period law was passed last year by the Florida Legislature. During last year's session, abortion was the subject of emotional debate. Democrats complained the bill was simply an effort to put up roadblocks to infringe on women's rights to an abortion; Republicans said women should have to wait before making such a major decision.

The law has exceptions for victims of rape, incest, domestic abuse or human trafficking if women present their doctors with a police report, restraining order or similar documentation.

The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf of a Gainesville abortion clinic. The lawsuit argued that the 24-hour waiting period created a burden that violated a right to privacy included in Florida's constitution.