Court Decision Allows Law Mandating Abortion Delays to Stand

ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights Will Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court

March 14, 2016 3:45 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

NEW YORK — A Florida state appellate court today rejected attempts to block a law that prevents a woman from getting an abortion for at least 24 hours after visiting her doctor. With today’s decision, the court allows the law to remain in effect, forcing women to make an additional, medically unnecessary trip to the clinic in order to access abortion care.

“The court again turned a blind eye to the hardship this law imposes, particularly on low-income women in Florida,” said Julia Kaye, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “Because of this decision, women will continue to suffer needless health care delays—and be forced to miss more work, lose more wages, and pay for more travel and child care in order to get an abortion. It is unconscionable.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Richard Johnson of Tallahassee, who challenged the law, vow to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court.

“We are hopeful that the Florida Supreme Court will step in to block this intrusive law while from doing any more damage to women’s lives litigation proceeds,” said Nancy Abudu, legal director of the ACLU of Florida. “The Florida constitution does not tolerate a law that allows politicians, rather than a woman and her doctor, to determine when a woman can have an abortion.”

The mandatory delay law is just one of a series of laws that the Florida legislature has passed to restrict a woman’s ability to access abortion. Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign into law an omnibus bill that includes onerous restrictions on abortion providers that are designed to shut clinics down.

Both the mandatory delay law and the requirements for abortion providers are part of a concerted national effort to restrict abortion access. Already this year, abortion restrictions have been introduced in 30 states.

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.