TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The Florida Supreme Court put a temporary block on a 2015 law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting abortions, but a Tallahassee judge will hold a hearing Wednesday on a request by opponents to find the law unconstitutional.
February’s Supreme Court decision was the second time a majority of justices kept the law, approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, from taking effect.
Critics of the law, which would require women to make at least two visits to health-care providers before being able to have abortions, argue that the waiting period is an unconstitutional violation of the right to privacy.
But supporters of the law maintain that the proposal gives women more time to consider the impact of the procedure.
Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis is slated to consider arguments in the case in a hearing Wednesday.
In documents filed with the court, lawyers for Gainesville Woman Care, an abortion clinic that launched the legal challenge along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and others, argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling made clear the statute should be struck down permanently.
“No mandatory abortion delay in this country has ever survived strict scrutiny, and Florida’s explicit right to privacy — which is `as strong as possible,’ … — will not tolerate a different result,” the lawyers wrote June 1 in a request for summary judgment in the case.
But lawyers for the state asked the judge to table the motion for summary judgment indefinitely to give them more time to prove their case.
The state “must be afforded a full and fair opportunity to canvas applicable relevant literature, to consult with and retain experts as needed and appropriate, to seek discovery from plaintiffs and their experts as well as from third parties, and to marshal and present relevant facts in the context of relevant law,”…