by Steven Ertelt
February 29, 2008
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A new bill in the Florida legislature would allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before having an abortion — something legislators hope will reduce the number of abortions. The measure requires abortion practitioners to do the ultrasound and give women an option to see it.
This is the second time for the bill as the Florida House approved it last year but the Senate version got watered down and was eventually pulled.
This year, the bill may go further because Sen. Dan Webster, the Senate majority leader, has signed on a co-sponsor and is expected to push it in the Senate.
Under the bill, women could decline the opportunity to see the ultrasound and abortion practitioners would not have to show the ultrasound in cases of rape or incest.
Rep. Trey Traviesa has filed a companion bill to Webster’s in the Florida House and she talked with the St. Petersburg Times about her rationale for introducing it.
"It’s important legislation, because we want fewer abortions," said Traviesa said. "Everyone agrees there needs to be fewer of them."
Traviesa’s bill goes further than Webster’s by including a 24-hour waiting period after the ultrasound is shown before the abortion can be done. It also allows parents to sue abortion practitioners when their teenage daughters have an abortion without being notified.
Florida currently requires abortion practitioners to notify parents before an abortion on a minor, though abortion businesses have been criticized for helping teens go to court to use waivers to get around the requirement.
While pro-life groups are expected to back the bill to reduce abortions and give women information on fetal development, abortion advocates are expected to oppose it.
Adrienne Kimmell, executive director of Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, told the newspaper the legislature shouldn’t be getting involved.
"This is legislating medicine, which isn’t the job of legislators," she said. "It creates barriers and ties the hands of doctors to do what they think is in the best medical interests of patients."