Florida Pro-Life Group Lobbies Governor Crist to Sign Ultrasound-Abortion Bill
by Steven Ertelt
June 7, 2010
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A state pro-life group is upping the pressure on Governor Charlie Crist to sign a bill that helps women by allowing them a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion. Crist has made it appear he will likely veto the bill, which is under attack by pro-abortion groups.
On April 30th, the Florida Legislature passed HB 1143 — with the House backing it 76-44 and the Senate 23-16. Both are short of the two-thirds necessary to override a gubernatorial veto.
Carrie Eisnaugle, the president of Florida Right to Life, told LifeNews.com today that her group, which called weeks ago for Crist to sign the bill, is upping its efforts for a final push.
She told pro-life advocates, "we still need your help and action on this important bill."
"It is expected to be in front of the Governor for his signature or veto very soon. We need a strong final push of support for this bill so Governor Crist will know where the majority of his constituency stands on this is," she added.
Adam Goldman, FRTL Vice President, also chimed in and said abortion advocates and the media are giving the wrong impression about the bill.
"The ultrasound exam is a diagnostic tool that must be performed if for no other reason than for sound medical practice. Whether the mother wishes to see the images and receive the diagnosis as to fetal condition is the option. But performing the exam is medically necessary," he explains.
"Clinics already have the machines and use them frequently, since there are varying medical procedures related to how to remove the uterine contents completely and gain insight into the condition of the uterus to prevent puncture and hemorrhaging, which is common unfortunately during the abortion procedure," Goldman says.
While abortion advocates erroneously claim the bill forces a woman to view her ultrasound before undergoing an abortion, the text of the bill says women are given the option.
Section 390.0111 of the bill, line 512 states: "The woman has a right to decline to view the ultrasound images after she is informed of her right and offered an opportunity to view them."
Andy Gardiner, the state legislator who sponsored the ultrasound bill, also told the St. Petersburg Times there is no reason for Crist to veto the bill.
"All this does is say if you want to see the ultrasound, the heartbeat, the opportunity that will come with the birth of that child, you can," he said.
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."
He said there is "probably not a whole lot" that would convince him to sign House Bill 1143.
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: Phone: 850-488-7146, Fax 850-487-0801, or write him at [email protected]
Related web sites:
Florida Right to Life – https://www.frtl.org
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