UPDATE: Dems cry foul over sneaky Senate abortion amendmentby Dara Kam | April 28th, 2010
UPDATE: The Senate approved the abortion amendment by a 22-17 vote.
Florida GOP Senate leader Andy Gardiner tacked a controversial anti-abortion amendment onto a health care bill on the floor this morning, an identical measure that died on a 20-20 vote two years ago.
The proposal would require women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound in the first trimester, already required for pregnant women in the second trimester. The women would also have to look at the ultrasound unless she has proof that she has been raped or is a domestic violence victim.
The decidedly more conservative Senate will likely approve the contentious amendment this time around.
Moderate Republican Jim King, who voted on the winning “no” side, passed away last summer and was replaced by conservative John Thrasher.
Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat who also helped kill the bill, is now in Congress.
And Republicans have easily shot down a number of amendments offered by Democrats trying to water down the Gardiner proposal, indicating the bill would pass.
But they may not take a full vote on the measure (HB 1143) today, and the House would have to approve the changes for it to pass and head to Gov. Charlie Crist.
Sen. Dan Gelber, who was in the House two years ago, objected that no committee had fully vetted the proposal before it arose today on the floor.
Gelber, who is running for attorney general, gave a heated argument against the amendment after offering several of his own that failed.
“You are go to put in Florida law a provision that requires a victim of a rape to actually tell someone she was raped, to get proof of the rape before she can be excused by the state of Florida from getting an ultrasound. How wrong is that,” said Gelber, D-Miami Beach. “Shame on the state of Florida.”