Politico Florida // Daniel Ducassi
The Florida state director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign praised U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s move to block a new law that would have stripped funding from abortion providers and required dramatically increased inspection by state health care regulators of patients’ files.
“Earlier this year, a set of dangerous and extreme measures restricting women’s access to health care were signed into law by Donald Trump’s supporter-in-chief in Florida, Governor Rick Scott,” said Simone Ward, the campaign’s state director. “For decades, the Supreme Court has protected a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion, but Republicans have consistently chipped away at this fundamental right, undermining the role of women and medical professionals in making health care decisions.”
Hinkle wrote that Planned Parenthood “easily met” requirements to block the law, which would have gone into effect Friday.
“If an injunction does not issue, the plaintiffs will be forced for unconstitutional reasons to dismantle programs unrelated to abortions and will be required to submit to unconstitutional inspections of their abortion clinics,” he wrote. “They will have no redress. This is irreparable harm.”
Hinkle’s late-night injunction comes on the heels of a 5-3 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Texas law that required abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges and required clinics to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, finding it was unconstitutional as it placed an undue burden on women. Clinton hailed that decision as “a victory for women across America” after it was announced on Monday.
Planned Parenthood attorney Carrie Flaxman told Hinkle in court on Wednesday that the defunding “threatens access to basic, non-abortion healthcare for thousands of woman.”
Planned Parenthood also praised the ruling.
“As a result of today’s decision, thousands of people across Florida have the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can access essential reproductive health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams,” said Lillian A. Tamayo, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, in a statement.
Ward framed the Florida ruling as a battle won in a broader war to secure abortion rights.
“This ruling is an important step forward but, make no mistake, the fight is far from over and the stakes couldn’t be higher this election,” said Ward, whose last job was as national political director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “If elected, Donald Trump would roll back the hard-fought gains that women have made and appoint Supreme Court Justices who would directly undermine Roe v. Wade. ”
Trump broke his silence on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Thursday, telling radio host Mike Gallagher that if he were elected president, the Supreme Court would never rule in favor of abortion.
“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate we can trust to fight for us by standing up for women’s health care in the face of opposition by Republicans like Donald Trump,” Ward said.