NRL News

Judge blocks sections of Florida law from going into effect today

by | Jul 1, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle

Hours before a new Florida law was to go into effect, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction Thursday that blocks two parts of HB 1411.

Other parts of the law took effect today, including a requirement that abortionists obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital or abortion clinics have transfer agreements in place.

Planned Parenthood had sued three parts of the law.

“Hinkle’s ruling simply blocks these parts of the law from going into effect while the case is argued or unless a higher court overturns his decision,” wrote Michael Auslen of the Miami Herald. “He wrote in the opinion that he expects the defunding and record inspection provisions will likely be ruled unconstitutional.”

Hinkle agreed it was acceptable for the state to inspect health records “ but said it hasn’t shown any justification for such a large volume [50% of all abortion clinic records annually],” Auslen wrote.

But the judge found fault, Auslen reported, with the part of HB 1411, signed into law this spring by Gov. Rick Scott, that says that “no state money can be used for non-abortion services like cancer screenings, HIV tests or education programs at abortion clinics.” Auslen added

Hinkle’s ruling says that portion of the law essentially discourages clinics from performing abortions, which he said is unconstitutional.

“You can’t defund based on exercising a constitutional right.”

But Judge Hinkle left in place, CBS News reported,

a provision that redefines dates of gestation and pregnancy trimesters, which could affect when abortions can be performed. Hinkle said he did so because state officials insisted the change would not have any impact, though Planned Parenthood had argued the change was yet another attempt to limit abortions.

“An absurd decision– since when is it a constitutional right not to have unannounced inspections and government (taxpayer) funding for a private for profit organization?,” said Lynda Bell, President of Florida Right to Life. “Judge Hinkle’s decision is a clear example of judicial tyranny and a court that has become quite political and out of touch!”

Bell concluded, “Women and girls in Florida deserve better!”

Editor’s note. If you want to peruse stories all day long, go directly to and/or follow me on Twitter at

Categories: Judicial