Florida Senate Adds Amendment to Health Bill for Ultrasound Before Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 28, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Senate Adds Amendment to Health Bill for Ultrasound Before Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 28
, 2010

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Florida senators today added an amendment to a health care bill that would allow women considering an abortion to see an ultrasound of their baby. Although abortion centers frequently conduct pre-abortion ultrasounds, they don’t necessarily give women a chance to see them.

Sen. Alex Villalobos, a Miami Republican sponsored the amendment the Florida Senate approved on a 22-17 vote.

“I just don’t see the problem with having someone have a little more information before they make a decision,” Villalobos said, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

The language does not require women to view the ultrasound and gives them the ability to sign a form opting out of see one. The form also ensures abortion clinics gives women the opportunity to view the ultrasound of their baby.

Sen. Ronda Storms, also a Republican, defended the amendment from abortion advocates who attacked it and said giving women information was anti-woman.

“I join women who say we are not little girls. We are adult women and we are making decisions. We can walk into a clinic and we can make a decision and we are not afraid of information,” she said. “What this amendment does, it says I have a right to know all of the consequences.”

Sen. Chris Smith, on the other hand, attacked the amendment saying it was not "medically necessary" while Sen. Nan Rich called helping women the "ultimate insult to women."

But Sen. Steve Oelrich, a Republican, responded that abortion is important to have this kind of information because it involves life and death.

“What we’re talking about is not an appendectomy, we’re not talking about cancer treatment,” he said. “What we’re talking about is ending a human life.”

The ultrasound option was added to an unrelated bill on drug-free workplaces by Sen. Andy Gardiner and now it goes to the state House, which will likely support it. Should the legislature approve the measure, Gov. Charlie Crist could veto it or sign it into law.

The Florida Senate previously killed, in 2008, an ultrasound bill on a 20-20 vote margin, but elections have given pro-life advocates more votes.

The Florida ultrasound vote comes after Oklahoma legislators approved a new bill there over the veto of Governor Brad Henry.

In 2006, there were 95,586 abortions performed in Florida.

Related web sites:
Florida Legislature – https://www.leg.state.fl.us
Florida Right to Life – https://www.frtl.org

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