Florida Legislator Hoping to Get Abortion-Ultrasound Bill Approved Before Deadline
by Steven Ertelt
April 9, 2009
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Florida legislator is hoping to get a bill that would allow women to see an ultrasound before the abortion before a legislative deadline. The House’s Health Care Regulation Policy Committee approved the bill and it was headed to the Policy Council’s agenda, but was pulled because of scheduling conflicts.
The Senate’s companion bill hasn’t come through the Senate’s Health Regulation committee.
The Ultrasound Option bill, HB 983, would require abortion practitioners to conduct and review an ultrasound with all women prior to an abortion and gives the woman the option of viewing the ultrasound.
The goal is to provide women with more information as well as reduce the number of abortions in the Sunshine state.
Rep. Chris Dorworth, a co-sponsor of the legislation, says he thinks the bill will begin moving again.
"This bill is about allowing expectant mothers contemplating abortion to have a more informed choice," Dorworth told the Seminole Chronicle newspaper. "Anything that has to do with abortion is going to be a contentious issue.
"On this issue, as soon as people understand what the bill does, I find people to be very supportive of it," he said.
Adam Goldman, the vice president of legislative affairs for Florida Right to Life, admitted pro-life advocates have an uphill battle.
"The makeup of that committee is not in our favor," he said of the Senate health panel. "There are two Republican senators who are pro-choice, plus pro-choice democrats.
"But, things are unpredictable," he told the newspaper. "There are definitely a lot of efforts behind the scenes. But it’s not a sure thing."
Goldman said he didn’t know if either the House or Senate committee would hold hearings on the bill if it appears dead for the legislative session. If the measure doesn’t get a hearing and vote by either committee by May 1, then the legislation will have to make a comeback next session.
Adrienne Kimmell, the executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, told the Chronicle the abortion business would be happy if the bill to help and educate women was defeated.
But Goldman, whatever happens to the bill, says Right to Life and other pro-life advocates will push the bill in the next session.
"We’ll bring it back every year that I’m alive," Goldman said. "How long did it take to ban slavery? Hundreds of years. We’ll be around for however long it takes. This is a modern day slavery issue. When does a person become a person?"
The Ultrasound Option bill passed the House last year and died on a 20-20 tie vote in the Senate.
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