By Dave Andrusko
It was a long, long time a coming, but as of this Friday all women contemplating abortions in Florida will have the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their unborn child. Pro-Life Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 1127 into law a year after Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a similar law after indulging in a lengthy bout of phony gamesmanship.
Gov. Scott also signed HB 1247–the Parental Notification of Abortion bill—which includes provisions intended to tighten the typically laissez faire use of the judicial bypass option and require a notarized permission slip in those cases where parents do give their permission.
During debate State Senator Alan Hays, the bill’s sponsor, said it’s harder for a student to get medication at school than it is for them to get an abortion. “The state will not allow a school nurse or a school teacher to give that student a Tylenol or an Advil without parental permission yet they’re willing to let them terminate a pregnancy without parental permission. I just find that completely unacceptable,” said Hays.
Florida law had already required that women be given a chance to see ultrasounds after the first trimester of pregnancy, but most abortions are performed in the first trimester. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the House sponsor, Rep. Liz Porter, “said most clinics already do first trimester ultrasounds, primarily as a tool to determine the gestational age of the fetus” but that said typically, those images aren’t shown to the woman.
The requirement to make an ultrasound available “provides women with the knowledge, the truth, the facts, of the procedure that they are facing,” said Porter. “Too much knowledge is never a bad thing.”