by Steven Ertelt
April 27, 2007
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Under a bill the Florida state House approved on Friday morning, anyone wanting an abortion would be required to have an ultrasound and given an option of seeing it beforehand. Pro-life lawmakers hope the requirement will further reduce the number of abortions in the state.
The House approved the measure on a bipartisan 71-42 vote and added the requirement to a bill the legislature has been working on to tighten the state’s parental notification law.
Rep. Trey Traviesa, a Tampa Republican, is the sponsor of the parental notification bill, which would appoint a guardian for underage girls who want to get an abortion without telling their parents. It would help counter the pro-abortion attorneys who frequently assist them in getting a judicial bypass.
The ultrasound requirement would not apply to women who are victims of sexual abuse because Republican Rep. Denise Grimsley added an exception to the bill to exempt them.
Backers of the ultrasound provision and waiting period say it would help women make better decisions than having an abortion. They also said it wouldn’t be unconstitutional by infringing on so-called abortion rights.
”If you read this bill, it doesn’t do anything to take away a woman’s right to choose,” Rep. Kevin Ambler said. "What it does is put a thoughtful, deliberative process in place.”
But Rep. Curtis Richardson, a Tallahassee Democrat criticized it saying that it "trivializes the process" of having an abortion.
The ultrasound provision will likely face a tough time in the Senate, which has a similar parental notification measure sponsored by Sen. Ronda Storms. Senators have already said they don’t favor the provisions the House put in its version of the notification bill and Storms worries the language will sink the bill in that chamber.
"I think it’s a great idea, and I would be very supportive of the measure," she said. "But not today, and not on this bill."
Storms told the Tampa Tribune that she won’t put the House-approved language in her bill but added that she was confident the legislature would approve a final version of the notification bill and send it to Gov. Charlie Crist, who will likely sign it.
"The House has good and principled people, and I’m sure we’ll work it out," said Storms.
Wendy Grassi, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida said she opposed the ultrasounds requirement and said the legislature shouldn’t tell abortion practitioners what to do.