Florida lawmakers pass slew of pro-life bills
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, April 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Florida lawmakers have passed a battery of pro-life legislation, including a constitutional amendment that would ban public funding for abortion and prevent the state courts from interpreting a right to privacy to include abortion.
Both the House and Senate passed the constitutional amendment, HJR 1179, which will be likely signed by Gov. Rick Scott, a pro-life Republican.
However, the measure will go onto the ballot and need the approval of 60 percent of voters in order to make it into the state constitution.
The Senate also passed HR 79, which opts Florida out of having insurance policies covering elective abortion in the state health exchanges created by the national health care reform law. The exchanges are scheduled to go into effect in 2014.
The Associated Press reports that the Senate made slight alterations to both bills, and the changes will first have to be approved by the House before the governor can sign them into law.
The House also passed HB 1127, which would require abortionists to perform an ultrasound for the review and benefit of a pregnant woman before an abortion, as part of the state’s informed consent laws. The law specifies that women may decline to view the ultrasound, but they must be offered the opportunity.
Another bill passed by the House, HB 1247, strengthens parental notification requirements by making changes to the judicial bypass system. It prevents an individual from judge-shopping in other circuit courts in search of a judicial bypass, and extends the time for a judge to consider a bypass request to three business days.
According to the Miami Herald, a couple Democrats broke ranks to join with Republicans in passing the pro-life bills, leading to what the Florida journal described as some legislative “fireworks.”
Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, quoted the Bible’s dictim “Thou shall not kill.”
Campell told Democrat colleagues that it was “Bible principles,” not partisan or “Republican” politics, that was inspiring her to vote for pro-life legislation.
Cambell’s statements, however, provoked a shouting match with pro-abortion Rep. Scott Randolf (D-Orlando), who reportedly then threw some of Campbell’s papers at her and pitched her pen in the trash.
The Herald said Rep. Patrick Julien (D-North Miami Beach) also shared Campbell’s sentiments, and crossed the aisle to join Republicans calling abortion “genocide.”
Also passed by the House was a law (HR 1397) that would ban abortion once an unborn child has reached the age of viability, and would require all future clinic owners and operators to be physicians, not corporations, as of October 1.