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Crist on abortion bill: 'Don't feel inclined to impose my will'

Gov. Charlie Crist was in Tampa today visiting Dunbar Elementary Magnet School. He was asked what his wife Carole and campaign manager sister Margaret say about the pending abortion bill:

"Their concerns are the same that I have," he said. "While I am pro-life personally, I don't feel inclined to impose my will. The cost would also be challenging to women in this economy and the notion that women would be lectured to is disheartening to me. I can't imagine a more deeply personal decision to make."

HB 1143 would require women seeking abortions in early pregnancy to view an ultrasound and hear a description of the embryo. The measure would make women pay for the procedure. It also would restrict private insurance coverage for abortions.

Crist has not yet received the bill, though it is expected to land on his desk next week. After that, he will have 15 calendar days to decide to sign or veto.

It was Crist's second visit to a school in the Tampa Bay area this week. On Thursday he was at Bay Point Middle School in St. Petersburg.

-- Nicole Hutcheson, Times staff writer