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Court Lifts Injunction on Fla. Abortion Wait Period

(CN) - A Florida law that requires women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion will go into effect this week, after an appeals court vacated an injunction.

In 2015, Florida added a 24-hour waiting period to Florida's abortion statute. It is the 27th state to require women to pause to reflect before having an abortion procedure.

A trial judge issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the law, but a Florida appeals court vacated the injunction Friday.

"In the abortion context as in any other, injunctive relief requires competent, substantial evidence to support the necessary findings of fact," the unanimous panel said. "Here, in contrast, the trial court conducted a one-hour hearing and then rendered the order under review, in which the court noted repeatedly the lack of evidence before it." (Emphasis in original.)

The trial court heard no testimony on the law's burden on the right of privacy, and therefore its ruling lacked evidentiary support.

In addition, it "did not address the State's arguments, such as whether, in passing the privacy amendment in 1980, voters intended to deprive Florida and its citizens of the benefits of advances in medical knowledge and evolutions in federal law recognizing increasingly compelling state interests arising from, among other factors, the potentiality of life uniquely represented by the human fetus," the court said.

Without a more substantial record, the panel found it impossible to tell how the lower court judge determined that challengers demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.

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