NPR reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle blocked sections of this law late Thursday night. If it had come into effect, abortion clinics would have been barred from receiving public funding, even for services unrelated to abortion. Such a vast financial penalty surely would have had grievous effects. Here’s Greg Allen from NPR:
“One provision would have banned any state money from going to clinics that perform abortions, even if it’s for nonabortion care — things like HIV tests and cancer screenings. Hinkle said that’s aimed at discouraging clinics from performing abortions, which the Supreme Court has ruled is unconstitutional.”
In the preliminary injunction, Hinkle explains, “No court has embraced the defendants’ position. And there is no logic to it. That a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion does not mean a legislature can impose otherwise-unconstitutional conditions on public funding.”
Hinkle also blocked a provision mandating that 50 percent of clinic patients be inspected by Florida state employees via their medical records. As Planned Parenthood argued, this law would have enabled a significant breach in patient privacy and, for that matter, would have created an unnecessary hinderance for clinics.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Indiana has also blocked invasive anti-abortion legislation that, among its provisions, would have required women to either bury or cremate fetuses after they had been terminated.
Laura Goodhue, Executive Director for Planned Parenthood of Florida, is celebrating the block on her state’s anti-abortion legislation. She refers to the law as “a misguided attempt—a disingenuous attempt—to block access to a safe and legal procedure by discriminating against abortion providers.”
And at the national level, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards champions the work of the courts who are putting an end to these “anti-women’s health” laws. In addition to Florida and Indiana, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Mississippi are also being forced to lift restrictions to abortion access.
Richards has also recently voiced her confidence that the tide is finally turning towards reproductive justice. In a June 30 statement she writes, “We have been fighting these restrictions on all fronts for years, organizing in the field, building for this moment — and now the wind is at our backs.”
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