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Florida Renews Defense of Abortion Restrictions

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Nearly three weeks after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against new abortion restrictions, Attorney General Pam Bondi's office on Monday filed a document disputing Planned Parenthood's arguments that the restrictions are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on June 30 at least temporarily blocked portions of an abortion law approved by the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott this year.

But Hinkle's ruling did not permanently resolve the issues in the lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood.

Attorneys in Bondi's office on Monday filed a 13-page document that disputed Planned Parenthood arguments.

In the preliminary injunction, Hinkle ruled against the state on parts of the law that would bar abortion providers from receiving public funds for other services and require a dramatic increase in inspections of abortion records by health officials.

Bondi's office this week, for example, took issue with arguments that the law would be "invasive" and treat abortion providers different from other health-care facilities because it would require the state Agency for Health Care Administration to inspect half of abortion patients' records each year.

"Defendants (state officials) admit that other health care facilities and providers regulated by AHCA are not subject to a statutory requirement that 50 percent of patient records be reviewed, but further state that they are subject to being reviewed to whatever extent AHCA deems appropriate," the document said.