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Florida court reverses decision on abortion 24-hour waiting period

Decision sends abortion waiting period back to circuit court

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Florida appeals court says a judge erred when he declared a 24-hour waiting period for abortions unconstitutional.

The 1st District Court of Appeal's ruling Thursday means the long-running battle over the abortion waiting period will go back to the circuit court.

In 2018, Circuit Judge Terry Lewis issued a summary judgment calling the law unconstitutional. His ruling came after the state Supreme Court temporarily blocked the law.

The appeals court decided 2-1 that the state presented a "feeble" case before the Supreme Court when it sought to stop the injunction, but has since built a stronger case. It said it should now proceed to trial.

Then-Gov. Rick Scott signed the waiting period into law in 2015. It was challenged by the ACLU on behalf of a Gainesville abortion clinic.