February 17, 2017
On February 16, the Florida Supreme Court blocked a 2015 law that would have provided women 24-hours to reflect before having abortions. Justices, in a
, overturned an appellate decision and agreed with a Leon County circuit judge who issued a temporary injunction against the law. The majority opinion was written by Justice Pariente and joined by Chief Justice Labarga and Justices Lewis and Quince. Justices Polston and Canady dissented. Justice Lawson, who joined the court at the end of December 2016, did not participate in the ruling. It is not clear how or if the underlying case,
Gainesville Woman Care v. State of Florida
will proceed, but this is a serious setback.
In August 2016, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops filed an
amicus curiae brief
in the case. The Pellegrino Center for Bioethics at Georgetown, the National Catholic Bioethics Center and the Catholic Medical Association, joined the FCCB on the brief, which highlights the law’s benefits from a bioethical perspective. The brief focuses on how the law enhances Florida’s policy in light of the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice, and the ways it bolsters the patient/physician relationship.