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Judge delays implementation of 24-hour waiting period for abortions

A Leon County judge has issued an injunction to stop the implementation of a mandatory, 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion.

The law, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, was supposed to go into effect on Wednesday.

The injunction by Chief Judge Charles Francis of Florida's 2nd Circuit means the law won't be enforced while a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a Gainesville abortion clinic works its way through the courts.

The lawsuit claims that the law is unconstitutional under Florida's strict privacy standards. An injunction has no bearing on the final outcome of the suit.

"We are pleased that no Florida woman is going to be subject to these dangerous and unconstitutional delays before getting the medical care they need as we complete the legal challenge to this destructive law," ACLU of Florida Legal Director Nancy Abudu said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

But it's worth noting that it's likely Francis's decision will be appealed by the state, which fought the injunction. ACLU lawyer Renee Paradis said last week that she expects the Florida Supreme Court to be considering the issue in the coming weeks.

The injunction can be downloaded here.