Late this afternoon, June 10, 2015, HB 633 was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. This new law ensures that a woman who seeks an abortion in Florida receives 24 hours to reflect on information provided by a physician before proceeding with the termination of her pregnancy. This good legislation gives women one day to reflect upon the risks of abortion, one day to view the image of her unborn child’s ultrasound, and one day to consult with friends, family and faith.
By joining the 26 states that currently require women to wait a specified period of time before obtaining an abortion, including the neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama, Florida will no longer be a destination for those seeking to rush an irreversible decision that ends the life of a child and affects the woman’s life for years to come.
“When we recall major life decisions, we recognize that we find it prudent to gather all the necessary information and take some time to think. Rather than ask what the cost will be for women to make a second visit to terminate a pregnancy, we should be concerned with the human costs of not having a reflection period,” said Ingrid Delgado, Associate for Social Concerns/Respect Life. The State of Florida already requires waiting periods prior to marriage, divorce, and the purchase of a handgun.
The bishops of Florida commend Governor Scott for signing a 24 hour reflection period into law. We praise our state’s legislative leaders for advancing this life-affirming legislation, especially Senator Anitere Flores (R-Miami) and Representative Jennifer Sullivan (R-Eustis) for their courageous sponsorship of this pro-life measure.
The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. It speaks for the Church in matters of public policy and serves as liaison to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.