Florida Gov. Scott signs ultrasound mandate, three more pro-life bills
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, August 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Florida’s governor has signed into law four pro-life bills, including an ultrasound mandate and a ban on abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges mandated by President Obama’s health care law.
A July 30 ceremonial signing by Republican Rick Scott took place at the governor’s mansion nearly a month after the legislation went into effect, and provided an opportunity for pro-life activists and Florida lawmakers to express their support.
Scott, the self-proclaimed “jobs governor” of Florida and a former health care executive, had been denounced during his gubernatorial campaign as “ extremely anti-choice” by Emily’s List, a political action committee dedicated to putting pro-abortion women into office.
Emily’s List had criticized Scott for his opposition to Roe v. Wade and his support for a bill vetoed last June by former Governor Charlie Crist that would have required abortion-bound women to undergo an ultrasound, and be shown the image upon request.
At the July 30 ceremony, Scott signed the ultrasound mandate as well as a bill stripping abortion coverage from health exchanges created through Obamacare. A third bill directing funds from Choose Life license plates to Choose Life, Inc., which counsels against abortion, and a fourth measure toughens parental notice requirements for minors seeking abortions.
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews (LSN), in March, Scott promised to approach a slew of abortion bills as a “pro-life governor.”
“I’ll review all those bills, but as you know, I’ve been pro-life all my life and I’m going to be a pro-life governor,” said Scott according to local CBS affiliate WCTV.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews (LSN), Florida Representative Kelli Stargel of Lakeland said she sponsored the parental notification bill, HB 1247, because she “wanted to be sure that parents were back in the picture.”
Commenting on the ultrasound legislation, she said that in her opinion, former Governor Crist’s veto was “strictly political” as he was “looking at his political future.” “[The ultrasound bill] makes sure that women are fully informed before they make such a critical decision,” she said.
“Florida is moving as a state to recognize the civil rights of the child being carried in a mother’s womb as equal to that of the mother,” Rep. Larry Ahern of St. Petersburg, who was present at the signing ceremony, told LSN. “It’s called equal rights and should be protected by our Bill of Rights.”
Florida Right to Life President Carrie Eisnaugle, who was also present, expressed gratitude to the Florida Legislature and Governor Scott for their dedication to the bills.
“The consequences of these four pieces of pro-life legislation as a whole are that the lives of unborn babies will be saved for many years to come,” Eisnaugle told LSN.
“I have commented many times that I believe Governor Crist’s veto of the ultrasound legislation ended up being helpful to our cause,” she added, “in that it energized pro-life voters and as a result the Florida legislature is more pro-life than it has ever been in recent memory.”