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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Supreme Court agrees to hear 24-hour abortion waiting period case

The Florida Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear a case challenging a state law that requires women to see a doctor and wait 24 hours before having an abortion.

Five of seven justices agreed to consider overturning a lower court's decision that the law should be enforced while a pending lawsuit over the constitutionality of the law moves forward.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the waiting period into law last year, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union and Gainesville-based abortion clinic Bread and Roses Women's Health Center to sue the state. The law, they say, violates strict privacy protections in the Florida Constitution.

The law went into effect for about a day last July before a Tallahassee judge issued an injunction blocking its implementation. That was lifted in February by the 1st District Court of Appeals.

The Florida Supreme Court halted it again on April 22.

Oral arguments have not yet been set by the Supreme Court, but they will not take place for at least two months, according to the justices' order.

In deciding to hear the case, the justices broke on familiar ideological lines with Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and justices Barbara ParienteFred LewisPeggy Quince and James Perry voting to accept jurisdiction. Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston dissented.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 5, 2016 4:51pm]

    

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