Second judge blocks Florida’s 24-hour waiting period

By Dave Andrusko

Circuit Judge Charles Dodson

Circuit Judge Charles Dodson

New judge, alas same old results: a block of Florida’s new 24-hour waiting period which was in effect for only a few hours.

On Wednesday when we discussed H.B. 633, Attorney General Pam Bondi had filed a notice with the First District Court of Appeals which triggered an automatic stay on Judge Charles Francis’s ruling. The ACLU, which brought the lawsuit, said it would ask Francis to reinstate his injunction while the appeal moved forward, according to the Associated Press.

As it happens, there was an annual rotation of judges that started on Wednesday, which meant the case was transferred to a new judge–Circuit Judge Charles Dodson.

Lawyers for a Gainesville abortion clinic challenging HB 633 said the law would cause “irreparable harm” to women seeking an abortion. The state responded there was no need for an injunction and that HB 633 does not hinder access to abortion.

Dodson sided with the pro-abortion litigants. The AP reported that Judge Dobson “said that it was unlikely state officials would win their appeal.”

The ACLU filed its lawsuit June 11, one day after Gov. Rick Scott signed H.B. 633 into law. It argued that waiting 24 hours represented an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abort and added the contention that the law violates the right to privacy in the state Constitution.

“The state has argued not only that the waiting period law is legal under the Constitution but that there’s no reason the law’s implementation should be delayed,” explained the Miami Herald’s Michael Auslen.

“Supporters modeled the law after waiting periods on the books in more than a dozen other states. They say a waiting period ensures that women have ample time to consider an abortion before undergoing the procedure and that it makes it harder for women to be coerced into ending a pregnancy.”

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