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Fla. House Panel Approves 24-Hour Mandatory Delay Bill

Fla. House Panel Approves 24-Hour Mandatory Delay Bill

March 16, 2015 — A Florida House panel on Thursday voted 9-4 to approve a measure (HB 633) that would implement a 24-hour mandatory delay period before a woman can have an abortion, News Service of Florida/News 4 Jax reports.

The bill must be approved in two more state House committees before it can go to the full chamber. Meanwhile, the state Senate has yet to take up an identical bill (SB 724).

Bill Details, Debate

The bill, filed by state Rep. Jennifer Sullivan (R), would require women to meet with a physician and receive information about abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure is performed.

Sullivan said the bill would help "women to make an informed decision versus an unexpected, rushed and pressured one." She added, "It gives them the opportunity to have that face-to-face with their doctor 24 hours in advance, to be able to think through that just like any other procedure as common practice."

However, state Rep. Kristin Jacobs (D) said the state does not require such delays for any other medical procedures.

Further, Michelle Richardson, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said, "The delay ... is not medically necessary and could in fact interfere with a woman's health," adding, "Requiring two trips to a facility, regardless of a woman's circumstances, and an override of a medical professional's judgment places politicians between a woman and her health-care provider" (Saunders, News Service of Florida/News 4 Jax, 3/12).