Florida Court Upholds Law Mandating Abortion Delays

ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights Vow to Seek Relief on Behalf of Florida Women

February 26, 2016 11:30 am

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NEW YORK — A Florida state appeals court today issued a ruling allowing a restriction on a women’s access to abortion to take effect. The Florida law prevents a woman who has decided to have an abortion from getting the procedure for at least 24 hours after visiting the clinic, forcing her to make an additional, medically unnecessary trip.

“This ruling will harm women in Florida” said Julia Kaye, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “A woman who has decided to have an abortion should be able to get one without the state putting up unnecessary roadblocks to prevent her from getting the care she needs.”

The law imposes significant hardships on women, particularly low-income women, whom it will force to miss work, lose wages, and pay for additional child care and travel.

“We are disappointed that the court reached this decision given the hardship this law poses to many Florida women, but we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that this demeaning and intrusive law is stopped in its tracks,” said Nancy Abudu, legal director of the ACLU of Florida.

“When a woman has made the decision to end a pregnancy, she needs compassionate care — not insulting and potentially dangerous delays mandated by politicians who presume to know better,” said Autumn Katz, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We vow to fight this law until the courts permanently strike it down, ensuring that Florida women are able to get the health care they need.”

Challenged by the ACLU, the ACLU of Florida, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, the law was one of 57 abortion restrictions passed nationwide in 2015.

Already this year, the Florida legislature has introduced numerous bills that would restrict a woman’s ability to get an abortion, including a bill similar to one of the Texas restrictions that will be before the United States Supreme Court March 2nd in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

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