Ultrasounds and Abortion
From the Tampa Tribune-
TALLAHASSEE - Women seeking abortions in their first trimester of pregnancy would be required to have ultrasounds of their fetuses, though they could opt out of viewing them.It isn't chipping away at anything. Planned Parenthood's reaction to this law is the standard kneejerk response to any legislation involving abortion.
The proposal amended onto a House bill Thursday also requires that women wait 24 hours after meeting with a doctor before having an abortion.
The bill, filed by state Rep. Trey Traviesa, R-Tampa, is expected to return soon for a vote.
Both the House and Senate are considering bills that require judges to consider and document certain factors when deciding whether a minor must notify parents that she is having an abortion.
The ultrasound language is not included in the Senate bill, nor is the House's 24-hour waiting period provision.
Sen. Ronda Storms said she won't tack either requirement onto her version of the bill, which awaits debate on the Senate floor. For the bill to become law, both chambers must agree on a version by the end of the session on May 4.
"The House has good and principled people, and I'm sure we'll work it out," said Storms, R-Valrico.
The ultrasound language, proposed Thursday by Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, is part of a national trend. Several states are crafting similar legislation, including Texas and South Carolina.
Some House members, including Rep. Curtis Richardson, D-Tallahassee, argued that the ultrasound amendment was crafted to prevent women from getting abortions.
Rep. Susan Bucher, D-West Palm Beach, said she was disgusted that such a significant issue was tacked on without prior debate.
"It is designed to cause substantial psychological impact to a young woman," she said.
Planned Parenthood also opposes the ultrasound request.
Wendy Grassi, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida, said in an interview Thursday that doctors should decide whether ultrasounds are medically necessary - not the Legislature.
"This is a political tool," she said. "It's another way to chip away at women's rights."
The mother isn't losing any right through this legislation. She can abort the baby if wishes. As to the psychological impact Rep. Butcher so fears, why is their any if a unborn baby is not a life?
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