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Fla. OKs To Late-Term Abortion Ban

July 7, 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Two years after Florida’s first attempt to ban a late-term abortion procedure was ruled unconstitutional, the state agreed that a new ban on the procedure should not be enforced.

In a terse court filing, the state attorney general on Thursday agreed that abortion clinics and doctors who challenged the constitutionality of Florida’s law in federal court were entitled to a permanent injunction. The state also agreed to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys fees.

``I’m very relieved that this case has been, for the most part, wrapped up,″ said Charlene Carres, who was among the lawyers who represented the physicians and clinics.

In May, Gov. Jeb Bush signed the latest law which bans the intentional killing of a ``partially born living fetus.″ Doctors who perform the procedure, known as dilation and extraction or D&X, could be convicted of a second-degree felony, sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $10,000.

Opponents argued the law was unconstitutional because it did not provide an exception to protect the health of women and was so broadly written it would prohibit doctors from performing abortions in early pregnancy.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned a similar Nebraska statute.

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