Tuesday June 8, 2010

Gov. Crist Drops Pro-Life Issue Page from Campaign Website

By James Tillman

TALLAHASEE, Florida, June 8, 2010 ( – Governor Crist of Florida, who has been vacillating for the past month over whether or not he will veto a recently-passed pro-life law, removed the pro-life/pro-family issue page of his U.S. Senate campaign website on Monday – an indication that he may be considering vetoing the bill after all.

In addition, at a morning news briefing today Crist said that he would act “sooner rather than later” on the bill and that he has serious problems with it. He added that he could not think of anything he likes about the legislation.

HB 1143 was passed by the state legislature on April 30. It would require that mothers be offered the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their infant before an abortion is performed, an offer that the mothers would be permitted to refuse. The legislation contains exemptions in cases of rape, incest, and situations where the life of the mother is at risk.

It would also prevent health insurance plans from covering abortion if the plan in question is subsidized by the state or federal government.

Crist, who has a mixed record on abortion, had previously said that although he considers himself “pro-life,” he may veto the bill out of a reluctance to “impose my will on others.” But his current actions are the clearest yet indicating that he will likely veto the bill.

Crist is running for the U.S. Senate as an independent after leaving the Republican party.

Republican Marc Rubio, who is competing for the same Senate seat as Crist, pointed out on his website that Crist removed the pro-life section of his website and accused him of “flip-flipping again.” Rubio has the backing of pro-life groups.

Crist had previously said that he was in favor of abortion “rights,” when running against Sen. Bob Graham as a “pro-choice” Republican. By 2006, when running to be governor of Florida, he claimed to be pro-life.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have been aggressively opposing the bill since it passed the state legislature. In both the House and Senate it passed by large, though not veto-proof majorities.

Florida Right to Life has been encouraging voters to contact governor Crist.

“The ultrasound exam is a diagnostic tool that must be performed if for no other reason than for sound medical practice,” said FRTL Vice President Adam Goldman. “Whether the mother wishes to see the images and receive the diagnosis as to fetal condition is the option. But performing the exam is medically necessary.”

Furthermore, he continued, it is simply best practice to use the machines.

Said Goldman: “Clinics already have the machines and use them frequently, since there are varying medical procedures related to how to remove the uterine contents completely and gain insight into the condition of the uterus to prevent puncture and hemorrhaging, which is common unfortunately during the abortion procedure.”

To contact Governor Charlie Crist:

Phone: (850) 488-7146 or (850)-488-4441 Fax: (850) 487-0801 [email protected]

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