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Anti-abortion measure passes Senate committee, moving in House tomorrow

by Dara Kam | February 22nd, 2012

Republican legislators are pushing an omnibus anti-abortion measure that revives some of the most controversial portions of proposals left out of a package of anti-abortion bills passed last year and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate Health Regulation Committee approved the proposal (SB 290) by a 5-2 vote, with a single Republican, Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, joining the lone Democrat on the committee, Sen. Eleanor Sobel of Hollywood, in opposition.

The proposal would impose a 24-hour wait period before women can receive abortions, require that clinics be wholly owned and operated by doctors whose residency was in abortion procedures, bar clinics from advertising that they perform abortions, and make it even more difficult for women to get already-banned and extremely rare third-trimester abortions.

Abortion providers say the changes are aimed at making it harder for women to get abortions.

“That is the real reason for this legislation – to make it even more difficult or impossible for women in Florida to access a full range of reproductive service,” Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood of North Florida, which operates five clinics, told the committee.

Jones asked the bill’s sponsor Sen. Anitere Flores whether her proposal would impose burdensome regulations on Florida businesses, something GOP leaders say they want to reduce.

“You’re right. This bill is increasing regulation of abortions,” Flores, R-Miami, said, “because what we’re talking about is a major medical procedure…I do think the state has a very strong purpose in increasing this regulation.”

The bill would also require abortion doctors to take three hours of ethics courses each year, drawing the objection of ACLU of Florida lobbyist Pamela Burch Fort.

The bill is about “shaming women who obtain abortions and shaming physicians who perform those procedures,” Fort said.

An identical bill (HB 277) is up in a House committee Thursday morning. Proponents expect both chambers to sign off on the measures, and Gov. Rick Scott will likely sign them into law if they do.

Sobel offered a series of amendments which she withdrew before they could be rejected, including one which would require a 24-hour wait period before a man could get a vasectomy or a prescription for Viagra.

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10 Responses to “Anti-abortion measure passes Senate committee, moving in House tomorrow”

  1. Downtown Danny Says:

    They yap about giving us “less government” – then give us more government.
    How is it white Republican men think they are the only ones who should decide a womans right to live her own life and make her own decisions without them interfering?
    If these right-wing extremist Republicans in our state had their way we’d all be forced to pray every day and live our lives based on their interpretation of a 2,000 year old book.
    They’ll stop us from having three $2 Billion Casinos providing thousands of good full benefit jobs because they say “gambling” is against their “morals” while they gamble every Saturday on their private Country Club golf course.
    I’m sick of these Republicans trying to run everyone’s life.

  2. Johnny Says:

    @Downtown Danny – Did you just blast conservatives for pushing for more government regulation, and then vilify the entire party itself?
    I certainly hope you aren’t a Democrat or that would make you a hypocrit also. The GOP is totally out of control, but so are the Dems with their desire to control every aspect of our lives.

  3. Pierre Says:

    Get this straight, republicans will be responsible women having to follow thru with pregnancies that could kill them, maim them or force them to bear a horrIbly deformed chIld. Once responsible for a medically comPromised child, the mother is on her own, possibly undergoing drug tests to attain even the minImal substandard assistance. COngratualtions you bastions Of morality for destroying women’s lives. You taught us all a very bitter lesson.

  4. kelly Says:

    Make sure you vote them out of office. They are not serving their constituents; they are serving themselves. Vote them out!

  5. joseyj Says:

    Hopefully, all these nutty Republicans will be voted OUT this year!
    The Republicans’ War on Women is ridiculous!

  6. Joseph Felt Says:

    I think this State Gov. is out of their mind. Abortion legislation at a time the economy in Florida is near rock bottom, insurance rates astronomical and education scores pitiful. I think they all need to be replaced and voted out of office.

  7. Bill Cassidy Says:

    Interesting that Downtown Danny and Pierre immediately jumped on the Bible and fear to make their arguments on how horrible this legislation is.

    Danny, nobody wants to force you to read the bible – or, for that matter force you to pray. All Republicans don’t see closing casinos as a goal. It is silly to even say that – and very much off message as far as this article is concerned.

    I am Catholic, Pro-Life, and on some days Republican – but most of the time Libertarian. If I just look at abortion as a medical procedure, I see no reason why this is such a problem. In almost all surgical scenarios, the patient waits more than one day to absorb the risks vs. rewards of the surgery. Why should abortion – a remarkably emotional and challenging part of a woman’s life – be different?

    And frankly, the people at Planned Parenthood who continue to pose caring people should understand the need for reflection more than anybody. But if they were honest, they would fess up. It’s about the money! Grab that patient and perform the abortion before she changes her mind.

    Last week my high school senior came home with a button and a fist full of condoms from Planned Parenthood. The button read “Dont f*** with us and don’t f*** without us”. Sorry, but I find it difficult to take them seriously anymore.

    If women want to choose abortion, it is legal in this country. If we REALLY care about them, why wouldn’t we demand that they take 24 hours and ensure that they get education and counseling? NOT trying to talk them out of it, just make sure they understand the risks physiologically and psychologically.

  8. Bill Cassidy Says:

    One more thing that I left out. @ Pierre – the Guv can TRY to drug test for many of the benefits, but he will not be able to get past ObamaCare. Unfortunately, the system is so screwed up in Florida that many women and children fall through the cracks because of the State and County bureaucracy and lack of engaged, skillfull employees. It’s a shame and does massive damage to the teens that need help and their potential to contribute to society and to benefit from what they can earn. The drug testing is silly though. My 18 year old can tell you rather quickly how to get around it…

  9. Downtown Danny Says:

    @ Bill Cassidy – just stay out of every womans life – they are smart enough to make their own choices – Republicans have done nothing to help the economy and have just tried to ram down their social views on everyone AND WE’RE SICK OF IT!

  10. raspalena Says:

    Why politicians keep passing unconstitutional laws that will be easily defeated in court? What a waste of time and taxpayer money

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