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Judge To Hear Arguments In Abortion Law Challenge

A Tallahassee federal judge will hear arguments June 29 on a request from Planned Parenthood to block parts of a major abortion law approved this year by Gov. Rick Scott and Florida lawmakers.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued an order Monday setting the date to hear arguments about whether to issue a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order against the law, which is scheduled to take effect July 1.

Planned Parenthood filed the lawsuit June 2 and challenged the constitutionality of three parts of the controversial law.

The complaint, in part, targets a section of the law that seeks to prevent state agencies, local governments and Medicaid managed-care plans from contracting with organizations that own, operate or are affiliated with clinics that perform elective abortions.

While government agencies are already barred from funding elective abortions, Planned Parenthood argues that the new law would prevent clinics from receiving money to provide other health services for women, such as pap smears, pregnancy testing and screening for sexually transmitted diseases.

The complaint also challenges part of the law that would require the state Agency for Health Care Administration to inspect at least 50 percent of abortion-clinic patient records each year.

In addition, the complaint challenges a section of the law that would change the state's definition of trimesters of pregnancy.