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New law mandating 24-hour abortion waiting period delayed by state court

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Chief Judge Charles Francis of the state’s 2nd Circuit court issued an injunction on Tuesday that delays the implementation of a new law set to go into effect the next day, on July 1.

The judge said in an 11-page ruling in favor of the plaintiffs that the law would do unjustified “irreparable harm” to Florida women seeking an abortion.

“Plaintiffs have shown a substantial likelihood of success [of overturning the law] on the merits, that irreparable harm will result if the 2015-18 Laws of Florida (HB 633) is not enjoined, that they lack an adequate remedy at law, and that the relief requested will serve the public interest,” wrote Francis.

Backers of the law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this month, are likely to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Pro-choice and civil liberties groups reacted immediately to the decision.

Autumn Katz, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, issued the following in a written statement:

“Women are fully capable of making thoughtful decisions about their lives, families, and healthcare, and this ruling will keep them from being second-guessed or delayed by politicians who presume to know better.

“We will continue to fight this demeaning law until the courts permanently strike it down and ensure no Florida woman is ever forced to wait for purely political reasons to get the health care she needs.”

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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