A federal judge at the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee voted late Thursday in the favor of Planned Parenthood by blocking a new law that places restrictions on abortion clinics in Florida.
Judge Robert Hinkle stopped key portions of the measure signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year, hours before it was scheduled to take effect. The law prevents any state funds from going to an organization that also provides abortions. It also added new inspection requirements on clinics.
In his ruling, Hinkle stated that previous federal decisions have made it clear that the government cannot indirectly try to stop an activity that is legally allowed. However, his ruling does not address the part of the law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Florida is one of the states besides Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia where Planned Parenthood is attempting to repeal such laws following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down tough abortion restrictions in Texas.
“We will fight back state by state and law by law until every person has access to safe, legal abortion,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, as a repeal campaign was launched Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
“No matter how long it takes, these laws will fall.”
Planned Parenthood said the law “would have eliminated access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests and other care for thousands of patients at Planned Parenthood health centers in Florida.”
“With today’s ruling Planned Parenthood is more committed than ever to both serving our patients and fighting back against politicians who are bent on attacking access to women’s health,” said Barbara A. Zdravecky, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.
Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for the governor, said the administration was “looking” at Hinkle’s ruling, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The Supreme Court’s Texas ruling held that such regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to an abortion.