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abortion

Judge gives state 2 months to defend abortion waiting period

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If the state thinks a law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion is constitutional, it needs to prove it, a Tallahassee judge said during a Wednesday hearing. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis—a 28-year veteran of the bench—gave the Attorney General’s Office 60 days to develop evidence to counter a Supreme Court decision this February temporarily halting enforcement of the waiting period, passed in 2015.

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New state laws will expand concealed guns to public facilities

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Starting Saturday, concealed guns will be permitted at college campuses in Georgia and Kansas, more public buildings and bus stations in Tennessee, and at the Iowa state Capitol as new laws take effect continuing the steady expansion of gun rights in Republican-controlled states. The firearms policies are among scores of laws scheduled to take effect Saturday, along with the start of the new fiscal year in many states. Some of those laws continue a recent trend of states taking the…

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Abortion at issue in latest constitutional review hearing

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CRC meeting Boca

Anti-abortion activists took to the microphone early and often at Friday’s Constitution Revision Commission hearing in Boca Raton. The 37-member panel, which convenes every 20 years to review and rewrite the state’s governing document, is now on a listening tour, holding public hearings around the state. A series of speakers Friday urged the commission to amend the constitution to undo a 1989 Florida Supreme Court decision striking down as unconstitutional a state law that required parental consent before a minor can get an abortion.…

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Legislative panel pushes for anti-abortion counseling services

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A Florida House panel has advanced a bill that puts state money into the operation of anti-abortion counseling services. The House Health and Human Services Committee pushed the bill (HB 969) to the full floor on Thursday. The bill is meant to structure a 12-year-old pregnancy services program offering women free counseling and prenatal services from a pro-life perspective. The pregnancy center would also provide services including physician referrals, flu and tetanus vaccines and medical screenings. State Rep. Lori Berman…

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Guns, gambling and taxes: Legislators return to work

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Once the Florida Legislature kicks off its 60-day Session March 7, legislators are expected to pass, or kill, dozens of measures dealing with everything from abortion to gambling and the environment. So far, more than 2,000 bills have been filed, but in the end, legislators usually pass fewer than 300 pieces of legislation each year. Here’s a look at some of the top issues this Session: DEATH PENALTY: Florida legislators are expected to quickly pass a measure that would require…

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Florida abortion waiting period law temporarily blocked

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A state Supreme Court order blocking enforcement of Florida’s 24-hour abortion waiting period will remain in place while a lower court determines whether the law is constitutional. The Florida Supreme Court issued its ruling Thursday, leaving in place its order from 10 months ago. The court said there’s a strong likelihood that a lower court will determine the law is unconstitutional and the state provided no evidence that the law addresses a compelling state interest. Gov. Rick Scott signed the…

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Federal judge sounds dubious on abortion counseling registration

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The state’s new abortion law sparked a contentious dialogue between a federal judge and a lawyer for the state on Friday. Part of that law requires those engaged in abortion referral or counseling services to pay a fee to register with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and provides for criminal penalties for not registering. The American Civil Liberties Union, representing several Florida reverends, rabbis and nonprofit organizations, is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of the provision. They say it…

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