For most the November/December time frame is set aside for family gatherings, lots of food and present buying/giving. Apparently this “tradition” is not followed by Florida lawmakers. It seems Florida lawmakers spent their holiday season coming up with ways to further limit abortion access in the state. Some were more extreme than others.
First up we have State Senator Mike Fasano (R- New Port Richey) who has drafted legislation to name January 2012 “Pregnancy Resource Center Month.” Pregnancy Resource Centers aka Crisis Pregnancy Centers already receive tax payer funding in Florida, despite the fact that they have been shown to provide medically inaccurate information to pregnant customers. Fasano doesn’t think that is enough though and wants to commend the “the compassionate work of the volunteers and staff at Florida’s pregnancy resource centers.” Because lying to people is oh so compassionate…
Next up we have Representative Daniel Davis (R-Jacksonville) who is going to re-propose a bill that will ban abortions past 20 weeks. Similar legislation was proposed last year but failed to make it out of committee. That isn’t going to stop Rep. Davis though. Jacksonville.com has him quoted as saying “I’m going to work hard this session, and hope we have a different outcome.” The bill does include an exception for pregnancies that danger the life or permanent health of the pregnant person but not for victims of rape or incest. Yep, there’s that compassion anti-choicers are so famous for.
The most problematic new piece of legislation to come out of Florida over the holidays comes from Representative Charles Van Zant (R-Palatka) who proposed a full on abortion ban. Unless the life of the pregnant person is under serious threat all abortions would be illegal. According to the bill the “woman’s life is a superior consideration to the concern for the life of the fetus and the woman’s health is a superior consideration to the concern for the health of the fetus when such life or health concerns are in conflict.” Well hooray for that at least. If an abortion is preformed at least two doctors will have to certify that the life of the pregnant person was in serious threat and that not terminating the pregnancy would decrease the patient’s chances of successful treatment from a fatal disease. If this isn’t done, the doctor who performed the abortion could face life in prison. Yuck.
Luckily Van Zant has proposed similar legislation in the past and it never actually makes it to the point of becoming a law but the other two bills could very well end up getting passed. Clearly Florida has an extremely conservative government and their lawmakers seem very unconcerned with the well being of the women in the state. On that note, remind me not to move to Florida.