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Abortion 24 hour wait in courts hands

November 1st, 2016 by Mike Vasilinda

Should a woman seeking an abortion have to wait 24 hours after having an ultrasound and discussion with her doctor before the procedure can be performed? The question is still up in the air as the Florida Supreme Court decides if the wait can be enforced while the law goes through the court system.

The 24 hour wait was passed and signed into law in 2015.

“77 yeas” chimed the House reading clerk when it passed.

The wait was in effect for two months before the State Supreme Court stepped in and stopped its  enforcement in April.

“Please be seated” said the court’s Marshall at the beginning of the oral argument.


Asst. Attorney General Denise Harley says the delay is reasonable, and the wait should be allowed while its constitutionality is challenged back in the original trial court.

“The waiting period is outcome neutral. The state is not trying to encourage or discourage abortions” Harley told justices.

But Julia Kaye of the ACLU says the wait has discouraged women.

“The 24 hours prevents some women from obtaining abortions, doubles the harassment that a woman faces upon entering the clinic” Kaye says.

28 other states have some sort of waiting period, but none of them has as strong a constitutional right of privacy as Florida.


Afterwards, the ACLU said the law had negative consequences for women during the two months it was in effect.

“Women missed work and wages they would otherwise not have to lose. Women experience sickness the could’ve been avoided” Kaye told reporters.

But anti abortion pastor Pam Olson says a woman’s decision isn’t final until it is.

“Lot’s of women go in to get a pregnancy test, and many get ushered right in to have an abortion. they don’t even have time to think about it” says Olsen.

If the court refuses to allow the waiting period to be enforced while it’s making its way through the lower courts, it is a clear signal it will be in trouble if and when an appeal comes back to the state Supreme Court.

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