By Dave Andrusko
Well, the plaintiffs challenging Florida’s 24 hour waiting period, Gainesville Woman Care LLC and Medical Students for Choice, are nothing if not persistent. No sooner had an appeals court Monday denied an emergency motion to reinstate an injunction against HB 633 in a single sentence than they announced they’d filed an emergency motion to stay the ruling pending a review by the Florida Supreme Court.
“The ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeals means the 2015 law will continue in effect — as it has been since Feb. 26, when a three-judge panel of the court overturned a temporary injunction that had been blocking the law since last summer,” News Service of Florida/WJXT4 reported. “The panel ruled, in part, that a Leon County circuit judge failed to show the need for the injunction.”
As NRL News Today has reported in many posts, the law requires a woman to meet in person with an abortionist at least 24 hours prior to having an abortion, and the legal maneuverings since Gov. Rick Scott signed the legislation in June 2015 boggle the mind.
As NRL News Today reported, at the end of June 2015, Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis blocked the 24-hour waiting period from going into effect. HB 633, which was strongly supported by the Florida legislature, was scheduled to take effect the following day.
A slew of back-and-forth rulings ensued. Finally, in February, a three-judge panel for Florida’s First District Court of Appeal ruled that the temporary injunction did not meet a legal test required for a temporary injunction.
In arguing before Judge Charles Francis in late June of 2015, Blaine Winship, special counsel to the attorney general, offered a number of reasons why HB 633 does not violate the right of privacy. To begin with, he noted that there was nothing in the law that removed or deprived a woman of her right to have an abortion.
“The state wields the police power to protect the health and safety of the people,” he told Judge Francis. “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.”
He added, according to WGCU’s Evans, “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 twenty four hour waiting period or not.”
Moreover, “Winship pointed to a 2006 Florida Supreme ruling that upheld the informed-consent provision in a 1997 law, the ‘Women’s Right to Know’ Act, which required doctors to explain the medical risks of abortion and to obtain consent from women seeking them,” Evans reported.
Florida Right to Life said of HB 633
As more abortion clinics around Florida close and abortionists abandon their practices, the problem of factory-style abortion clinic practices is sure to grow. This bill will ensure that the safety of women is enhanced, and that the right to informed consent is fully protected in a deliberative manner.