By Kelsey Hazzard
Editor’s note. This appears in the April edition of National Right to Life News. Please share with your pro-life family and friends
A Politico headline caught my eye yesterday: “How Florida Uses a Little-Known Law to Punish Abortion Clinics.” I am a Floridian and pay above-average attention to abortion laws, but I had no idea what Politico could be talking about. What innovative, cutting-edge pro-life strategy had my state cooked up without me noticing?
So I read the stupid article, and y’all: they’re enforcing our 24-hour waiting period. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration fined “more than a dozen” abortion businesses (out of 53) that were out of compliance. That’s literally it.
Waiting periods for abortion have been around for decades. Twenty-seven states have them, they enjoy overwhelming public support, and they are proven to lead some women to change their minds and reject abortion. The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of abortion waiting periods in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Despite this, the abortion lobby was able to keep Florida’s law tied up in court for several years. Ultimately they were unsuccessful, the law went into effect, and the state is now — gasp! — enforcing it.
Each violation can result in a fine of up to $1000. Since the average abortion costs less than that, an abortionist who is caught violating the waiting period can find himself essentially doing the abortion for free. No wonder they’re annoyed. I’m not surprised they went to the media with a persecution narrative. But Politico had a journalistic responsibility to do more than parrot them.