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Florida Clinics Must Enforce 24-Hour Waiting Period Before Performing Abortions

A Florida appellate court lifted an injunction Friday against a contentious law that states women must wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

Florida passed a law last year that requires women seeking an abortion see a doctor and then wait 24 hours before actually ending the pregnancy, The Tampa Bay Times reports. That law was challenged, and a lower court issued an injunction last year preventing enforcement until it is decided in court. The appeals court ruled Friday to remove the injunction.

The constitutionality of the law must still be decided by the courts, but until the ruling is made clinics are legally obligated to comply with the waiting period.

“Florida’s law is a common-sense measure that simply gives women and teen girls one day to think about having a procedure that is potentially life-changing and fraught with risks,” Steven H. Aden, senior counsel for the religious liberty legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement. “Basic health standards should not allow for ‘drop-in abortions.’ The court has done the right thing in allowing this good law to go into effect.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida criticized the ruling, saying it was one of 57 abortion restrictions passed in the U.S. last year that put a “hardship” on women.

“This ruling will harm women in Florida” Julia Kaye, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement. “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 U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear an abortion case that could significantly reduce the availability of abortions in the U.S through stricter regulations on clinics.

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