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Vote on controversial abortion bill delayed in Senate


 A vote on a controversial proposal that would outlaw abortions in Florida any time a doctor determined a fetus was viable was postponed indefinitely Wednesday.

Sponsor Anitere Flores, R-Miami, said she asked to delay a vote on Senate Bill 918 because she started receiving calls from the pro-life community that indicated the proposal was being misinterpreted. She said she plans to work with these groups to make sure they understand the bill is intended to further limit abortions prior to the third trimester and expects the bill will be put on the agenda for next week's Health Policy Committee meeting.

The proposal requires doctors to perform medical examinations, including ultrasounds, on pregnant women who seek abortions to determine viability. If the doctor rules the fetus is viable -- defined as the stage of development where the life of a fetus could be sustained outside of the womb -- then an abortion can only be carried out if the woman's life is at risk or she faces serious risk of injury.

Similar restrictions are added to the state's existing ban on third-trimester abortions and there is also the requirement of a second doctor's opinion before the exception is granted.

A "temporary postponement" means the bill could be brought back to the committee any time -- there will be at least two more meetings during the 2014 session -- or never again.

Health Policy is the first of three committee stops for SB 918. A similar proposal filed in the House and sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, has not been heard in committee.


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OK, I just read this bill.


It is totally unnecessary, as FL is not performing vast amounts of third trimester abortions in the first place and the vast majority of those performed fall under the current as well as proposed guidelines as being necessary to preserve the life of (or save from serious injury) the mother.

What it does is add more layers of time-consuming and costly regulations - on both the part of the woman and the medical practitioners associated with any individual case.

And for ... what?

I may have a different opinion than other readers about the overall issue of abortion, but even if your opinion is 180 degrees away from mine, this bill really doesn’t do anything for your position either.

And passing it would only make it more agonizing (and time-consuming, and expensive) for those women, those families, who are faced with the horrible decision to have to terminate a third trimester pregnancy because of severe medical issues.

Protections are already in place for third trimester abortions. This new bill is not needed.

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