Florida Governor Charlie Crist Likely to Veto Bill for Pre-Abortion Ultrasound
by Steven Ertelt
May 17, 2010
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Florida Governor Charlie Crist says he will likely veto a pro-life bill that helps women by allowing them a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion. Although ultrasounds are routinely done before an abortion, abortion facilities don’t always allow women to see them.
State legislators support the bill to help women obtain more information before making a decision to have an abortion.
The same bill would also make Florida the next state to opt out of at least some of the taxpayer funding of abortion contained in the health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law.
Though the measure doesn’t require women to see the ultrasound — it gives them the option — Crist claimed it did in a Tampa Tribune interview.
"On two fronts it disturbs me," Crist said, according to the newspaper. "That you would force a woman to go through this procedure . . . almost seems mean-spirited. To have your government impose on you, listen to a lecture, then on top of that, you have to pay for it."
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 give women the opportunity to view the ultrasound of their baby.
Pro-abortion lawmakers opposed the measure and claimed it would force women to pay for ultrasounds. However, studies show most abortion centers typically use an ultrasound before an abortion to determine the age of the unborn child beforehand.
He said there is "probably not a whole lot" that would convince him to sign House Bill 1143, which he has yet to receive from the state legislature.
But when he gets it, he told the Tribune he will take most or all of the 15 days allotted to him to make a decision.
"Just time," Crist said. "Trying to gain more wisdom. I’ve got 15 days. I’m going to use them."
State Rep. Kelli Stargel, a Republican who led the bill, told the newspaper she was disappointed by Crist’s remarks and that women deserve more information.
"It’s clearly a political move," Stargel said. "This bill is good policy. As a woman, I think it’s safe practice. I hope he reconsiders."
The state House voted 76-44 for the bill while the Senate supported it with a 23-16 vote — and both are short of the two-thirds necessary to override a gubernatorial veto.
Statewide pro-life groups like Florida Right to Life and the Florida Family Policy Council are asking Crist to sign the bill.
"This bill is very important for the primary reason that it actually does something very good and very powerful," the pro-life group said in the email LifeNews.com obtained. "This bill is the most significant piece of pro-life legislation ever passed in Florida’s history. But it does not become law unless and until the Governor signs it."
Florida pro-life Senate candidate Marco Rubio has also urged Crist to sign the bill. Crist is embroiled in a contentious Senate battle with Rubio, who enjoys the backing of pro-life groups.
"It is my hope that Governor Crist will come down on the side of life, and sign HB 1143 into law, or at least allow it to become law without his signature," Rubio said in a statement LifeNews.com received. "This commonsense measure is a small but important step toward providing women with vital information during perhaps the most critical healthcare decision they will ever make."
In 2006, there were 95,586 abortions performed in Florida.
ACTION: Contact Governor Crist at: Phone: (850) 488-7146 or (850)-488-4441, Fax: (850) 487-0801 [email protected]
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