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NEWS

State house bills target abortion

18 and life: a record number of legislative attacks on reproductive rights race through Tallahassee

Photo: Photo from Planned Parenthood, License: N/A, Created: 2011:02:26 13:58:00

Photo from Planned Parenthood

fighting words: Two Orlando protesters send a strong message at a February Planned Parenthood rally against federal cuts to women's health care, but the real battle is closer to home


HJR 1179/SJR 1538 - Abortion/Public Funding/Construction of Rights

As if to further the same argument, only on a constitutional level, State Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and State Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, are seeking to place an amendment on next November's ballot forbidding any public funding of abortion "except as required by federal law to save the life of the mother." Even if the federal law were to be interpreted to allow abortion coverage in cases or rape or incest - as the Hyde Amendment does - this constitutional amendment would supercede that federal law, meaning that in addition to further restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion, any public employee with a state insurance plan will have no option for abortion coverage. The state is reducing your federal rights.

HB 1397/SB1748 - Abortions

While the rest of the state undoes its belt and enjoys the fruits of Gov. Rick Scott's deregulation manifesto, State Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, and State Sen. Flores have set forth a complicated rubric for abortion providers that surpasses standard reasoning. Planned Parenthood is calling the bill Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or "TRAP." Clinics must advertise that they can't perform third-trimester abortions, practicing physicians will be required to attend three-hour ethics classes and improper disposal of "fetal remains" is a first-degree misdemeanor (up from second degree). The bill goes on to expressly forbid doctors from telling a pregnant patient not to take certain medication, as it might cause a miscarriage, because said patient could then take that medication and have a miscarriage - and it would be the doctor's fault. Also, all abortions performed would have to be reported to the governor and the leader of each legislative body.

HB 1127/SB 1744 - Abortions

Even though this exact legislation was vetoed last year by political balance-beam walker Charlie Crist, State Rep. Elizabeth Porter, R-Lake City, and State Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, are once again trying to force women in their first trimester (or any trimester) to view an ultrasound of their fetuses prior to an abortion procedure, or at least sign a waiver saying that they refuse to look at it. What's more, the ultrasound must be performed by the same doctor who will perform the abortion and said doctor is required to explain the various stages of fetal development to the woman in detail. None of this is free, mind.

HB 1247/SB 1770 - 
Parental Notice of Abortion

Again, this law already exists, except State Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and State Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, don't think its limitations are strong enough. Florida already requires a 48-hour waiting period for parental notification in the case of minors attempting to get abortions, but this bill gives the court three days (up from two) to deliberate on whether to afford a minor a waiver to proceed with her abortion without going through the motions. The "overall intelligence" and "ability to accept responsibility" of the minor will be determined by the court, worryingly.

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