The Florida Supreme Court [official website] on Friday granted a motion [text, PDF] to suspend the state’s mandatory 24-hour waiting period for abortions. The ban shall remain suspended until the court determines whether it will accept jurisdiction over the case. The law implementing the waiting period, which was signed by Governor Rick Scott last year, was allowed to go into effect two months ago as the result of an appeals court ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] has challenged [CBS News/AP report] the law, arguing that Florida’s Constitution protects the private medical decisions of women.
Abortion procedures and reproductive rights issues [JURIST backgrounder] are controversial topics throughout the US. Earlier this month the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed suit [JURIST report] against the state of Indiana, challenging the constitutionality of a recently signed abortion law. In March Utah became the first state to require doctors to administer anesthesia [JURIST report] to women receiving an abortion after 20 weeks. In March a district court judge blocked [JURIST report] Arkansas from enforcing a bill mandating abortion pill providers follow US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines and requiring hospital admittance privileges to handle complications. Also in March West Virginia lawmakers overrode the governor’s veto to enact a new law [JURIST report] that prevents the dilation and evacuation abortion procedure, widely held to be the safest second-trimester abortion method. The same day, South Dakota’s governor signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protections Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks.