by Steven Ertelt
May 31, 2005
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Just days after he signed legislation requiring abortion businesses to notify parents when their teenage girls are considering an abortion, Florida Governor Jeb Bush has signed a measure regulating abortion facilities.
Saying he did so "gladly, with pride and conviction" Bush said he signed the bill "to create a culture of life in our state."
Bush indicated the legislation was necessary because abortion facilities are exempt from regulations that cover physician offices, hospitals and other surgical centers.
"This is a simple bill that says women are deserving of the same quality care when they go to a doctor’s office or a hospital or, sadly, to an abortion clinic," Bush said.
The new law, taking effect on July 1, regulates any abortion facility that performs one of the nearly 9,000 second-trimester abortions that occur annually in the state. About half of the 65 abortion businesses in Florida are included.
The bill calls on the state Agency for Health Care Administration to implement new rules for abortion businesses covering the building, equipment, staff and the abortion procedure.
Advocates of the legislation say women deserve decent health and safety standards that some abortion facilities ignore.
Dr. Randy Armstrong, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the emergency room at University Community Hospital told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper that the bill is needed because he has seen "and continues to see" women coming to the ER frequently because of post-abortion medical problems.
In the last six months of 2004, Dr. Armstrong said nearly three dozen women were admitted to his hospital because of complications from botched abortions.
Stephanie Grutman, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Florida, told the Orlando newspaper that her group opposed the bill "because it puts big government restrictions on clinics and forces clinics that are already regulated to stop providing services."
The state legislature strongly backed the measure, with the Florida House approving it on an 89-27 vote.
Almost 90,000 abortions were performed in Florida in 2003.