Florida House Passes 24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2012   |   8:05PM   |   Tallahassee, FL

The state of Florida is moving ahead with more pro-life legislation to cut the number of abortions after the state legislature there approved a number of bills in the 2010 session that the governor signed.

As Reuters reports:

Women seeking abortions would be required to wait 24 hours under a bill passed by the Florida House on Thursday. The Republican-supported measure also creates a number of additional restrictions affecting clinic ownership, physician training and late-term procedures. But opponents said the bill has slimmer chances of passing the state Senate.

Following a lengthy and emotional debate, the Republican-controlled House voted 78-33 along party lines to approve the bill that requires new clinics be owned by doctors and prohibits an abortion if the physician has determined the fetus has reached “viability.”

The vote is the latest in a series of bills over the past few years by abortion opponents over such issues as parental notification, judicial bypass rules and the use of ultrasounds.

“I ask you to vote for this bill, not because it is a ‘pro-life’ issue but because it really is an issue about women’s health and an issue of women’s safety,” House sponsor Rep. Rachel Burgin, a Republican from Riverview, told members before the vote.

Democrats argued that the measure was another attempt by Republicans to attack abortion.

The bill is designed to “cut off a woman’s access to safe, legal abortion care in Florida,” argued Rep. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach. “I still don’t understand why this chamber wants to regulate my body.”

But Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, responded, “I don’t believe that this is intrusive in any way. It’s not intrusive to save a human being’s life. It’s heroic. This is heroic work that we need to be proud of doing.”