Florida Fines Orlando Abortion Clinic Over 24-Hour Wait Period Law

According to a case given to an administrative court on Tuesday, Florida health authorities are fining an abortion clinic in Orlando $193,000 for breaking a state rule mandating a 24-hour waiting time before procedures.

This summer, a complaint was made against the Center of Orlando for Women by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

A judge upheld the Florida legislation requiring a required 24-hour waiting time for abortions in April, almost seven years after it was enacted.

According to the lawsuit, state officials analyzed patient data to establish that the clinic violated the 24-hour waiting period requirement by performing 193 abortions between late April and early may of this year. A $1,000 fine is allowed under state law for each waiting time legislation infraction.

According to the complaint, a clinic manager admitted to authorities that she was aware of the rule but was unsure of its effective date. Given the protracted legal dispute around the regulation, a lawyer for the center said that the institution repeatedly contacted the state to ask when the legislation will go into force but never got a response.

Attorney Julie Gallagher said in an interview on Tuesday that it would “be devastating for the clinic” if they were had to pay a $193,000 fee to maintain their license.

There hasn’t yet been a hearing for the matter set by the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings.

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