Supreme Court Urged To Block Abortion Waiting Period

May 27, 2016

Focusing heavily on a right to privacy, abortion-rights advocates have filed an initial brief urging the Florida Supreme Court to block a 2015 law that seeks to require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

The brief, filed Wednesday, asks the Supreme Court for a temporary injunction against the controversial law. A Leon County circuit judge last year approved such an injunction, but the 1st District Court of Appeal overturned that ruling.  "For more than 40 years, Florida women have been able to obtain an abortion when they and their physicians deem it medically appropriate without interference from the state," the brief said. "(The law) upends this status quo by requiring a woman seeking an abortion to delay her procedure by at least 24 hours and make an additional, medically unnecessary trip to her health care provider. The act does not mandate that she receive any new information beyond what she currently receives under Florida law. It only imposes greater burden, stigma, and delay -- and communicates the state's condescending message that a woman seeking an abortion, alone among patients, is unable to decide for herself when she is ready to make an informed decision about her medical care." The Supreme Court agreed May 5 to take up the case, and the state is expected to file a brief in mid-June. Supporters of the law have argued the waiting period would give women more time to reflect on whether to have abortions.