Split Florida Supreme Court Rules Against Common Sense Abortion Waiting Period

Today the Florida Supreme Court in a 3-2 opinion reinstated the injunction against a 24-hour waiting period to the Informed Consent abortion law. Justices Canady and Polston dissented. A third justice took no part in the opinion. The Court is composed of seven justices, but one seat is vacant. Liberty Counsel had previously filed an amicus brief in Gainesville Woman Care v. State of Florida, arguing in favor of the waiting period on behalf of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) and the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds).

“The majority’s opinion is flawed. In addition to being wrong on the merits of the law, the Court ignored its own procedural precedent to justify a restraining order. In dissent, Justice Canady correctly cites a precedent in a prior Liberty Counsel Florida Supreme Court case, which, if the majority had followed, would mean the challenge to the law should be rejected,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

AAPLOG and ACPeds have extensive experience with adolescents and young women, who have been affected by abortion, and have studied the long-term effects of the procedure. Both the AAPLOG and ACPeds substantiate that Florida’s 24-hour waiting period is critically necessary to protect the health and well-being of young women. Including such a period of reflection before choosing a decision with serious long-term consequences is critically important.

Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, the youngest female member ever elected to the Florida House of Representatives, was one of the sponsors of HB 633 in 2015, known as the Informed Patient Consent bill. Sullivan also participated in one of Liberty Counsel’s Covenant Journey tours of Israel.

“This is a tragic decision that serves only to encourage human genocide by ruling against a reasonable 24-hour waiting period for abortions,” said Staver. “That waiting period is critically important when facing life and death decisions. Abortion advocates oppose a waiting period because they fear the mother will choose life. How sad that a mother can kill her pre-born child without waiting even 24 hours, and yet, when someone other than the mother kills the same child, it is a criminal offense. The law should have some semblance of reason, but the entire abortion jurisprudence makes no sense at all,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.