Mothers Seeking Abortion May be Put on Pause

Members of the senate reviewed SB724 today on the termination of pregnancies. This is a similar bill to HB633 that passed a measure Wednesday that will mandate a 24-hour wait period for mothers who are seeking to abort their pregnancy. However, this is not the first time this bill has been presented.

 In 2010, the Legislature passed a bill that would have required most women to view an ultrasound before having the procedure.  It was vetoed by then Governor Charlie Crist.

This time around, the bill has made its way through the house with a vote of 77 to 41. This comes even after last minute restrictions were added to the bill to the effect that women who are raped, domestic violence, incest and human trafficking would not have to meet the 24-hour requirement.

The senate companion bill proposes that consent is required and a termination of pregnancy may not be performed or induced except with the voluntary and informed written consent of the pregnant women. The senate has a history of being in favor of the bill thus far.

In the house, most republicans were in favor of the bill passing through, while most democrats opposed.

House sponsor Jennifer Sullivan stated "I didn't just come up with this policy because I was bored in my office and I thought this would be fun to take on. I'm sponsoring this policy because I care about the women who have come to my office." 

The senate is expected to be in favor of their companion bill.

 The Miami Herald noted that Republican supporters, Reps. Cary Pigman and Julio Gonzalez, are physicians.

"No other elective surgical procedure is ever done on the same day as the initial consultation," Pigman said.

Gonzalez added that 4 percent of women who undergo an abortion are later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and that 23 percent will show symptoms of the disorder.

On the other hand, some democrats call the bill government intrusion. For example, House democratic representative Lori Berman pointed out the idea that the 24-hour waiting period haven’t done anything to decrease the number of unintended abortion pregnancies.

While both sides of the bill have been heard, most representatives have been in favor of this bill.

 Governor Rick Scott has also expressed that he is in favor of the bill.

If enacted, Florida will join 24 other states that already allow a 24-hour waiting period between the medical briefing and the abortion procedure. The bill will take effect July 1, 2015.