Senate sends two abortion measures back to the Houseby Dara Kam | April 28th, 2011
The Senate passed two amended House abortion bills, sending back slightly watered-down versions of a proposed constitutional amendment and a bill barring some private insurers companies from providing abortion coverage.
Yesterday, the House approved a half-dozen anti-abortion measures after nearly five hours of debate.
The Senate spent less than 20 minutes discussing the two measures Thursday morning.
The first (HB 97) would bar insurance policies purchased in whole or in part from the new health care exchanges from offering abortion coverage. The Senate added additional exceptions to the measure that already includes exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother to include the health of the mother.
The second (HJR 1179) would ask voters whether the state constitution should bar public money from being used to pay for abortions. That measure, too, was amended to include exceptions for the mother’s health.
“I resent the fact that now wer’e further eroding a woman’s right to do what she wants to do with her body,” objected Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, who voted against the measure.
But Sen. Anitere Flores, the bill’s sponsor, said that curbing abortions was one of the reasons she ran for office.
“This is an issue that for some of us was the reason we came to Tallahassee, to help…the lives of the unborn,” Flores, R-Miami, said.