Statement on today’s 24 hour mandatory delay ruling from Laura Goodhue, Executive Dirctor, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates:
“Today’s ruling is yet another example of the courts telling politicians that they cannot pass laws that block access to safe and legal abortion. Every woman should be able to make her own decisions about her reproductive health care.
“The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates has always opposed this medically unnecessary law which creates a burden on women who have already made their decision. We believe laws should not be introduced with the intention of shaming, coercing or judging a woman but rather based on best health care policies and medical standards.”
“A woman’s ability to access abortion must be a right not just in theory, but in reality. Florida legislators should quit playing politics with abortion and focus on improving women’s access to health care, including reproductive health care.”
What’s wrong with a 24-hour reflection period?
- Mandatory delay laws unnecessarily postpone access to abortion even when a woman has already received state-mandated counseling and made a deliberate and fully informed decision.
- State laws that require mandatory delays before a woman can get an abortion do not offer any health benefits. They result in increased expenses, travel difficulties, and medical risks.
- Mandatory delay requirements are especially burdensome to rural women and those living in poverty that may not be able to take extra days off from work, travel long distances, or find appropriate child care while they are away from home.
- Implicit in this legislation is the unfounded assumption that women who decide to have an abortion don’t carefully consider their decision. The reasons women decide to have an abortion are complicated.
- This legislation does nothing to decrease the number of unintended pregnancies or reduce the need for abortion. In fact, the challenges women may face in scheduling travel, childcare, and work arrangements to get doctors’ appointments 24 hours apart means the procedure could be forced later into the pregnancy, posing an unnecessary risk to women’s health.
Anti-abortion lawmakers have already filed three bills ahead of the 2017 Florida Legislative Session, including a ban on abortion after 20 weeks and a bill that opens up doctors performing abortions to frivolous lawsuits. They’ve even introduced a bill that requires the state of Florida to promote anti-abortion propaganda.
Nationwide, state lawmakers have passed more than 316 restrictions on abortion since 2011. A PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox found that the majority of Americans oppose restrictions meant to shutter health centers or make it more difficult for women to access abortion, and that 70 percent of Americans don’t want to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates is the state public policy office representing Florida’s Planned Parenthood affiliates. The Alliance works to advance public policy in areas of reproductive health care, family planning and medically-accurate sex education in order to make comprehensive reproductive health care available to all.