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A Tallahassee judge tosses a challenge to Florida's abortion waiting period

 Abortion rights activists gather during a rally in Tampa in October 2021.
Stephanie Colombini
/
WUSF Public Media
Abortion rights activists gather during a rally in Tampa in October 2021.

The law calls for women to wait 24 hours after initial visits with physicians before having abortions. Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey rejected a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Gainesville women’s clinic.

Women will have to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion under a ruling by a Florida judge in a nearly seven-year battle over the waiting period.

Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey in Tallahassee on Friday tossed out a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Gainesville women’s clinic, saying other medical procedures have a similar waiting period and other important decisions like getting married, getting divorced and buying a gun have longer waiting periods.

She said 24 hours is the minimum amount of time to let a woman think over the decision after consulting with a doctor.

The waiting period goes into effect once Dempsey signs one additional piece of paperwork.

Dempsey also added that exceptions for the life of a mother, documented cases of rape and incest, and victims of domestic violence and human traffic support the constitutionality of the law.

Former governor and current U.S. Sen. Rick Scott signed the bill into law in 2015 and it was immediately challenged.

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