By Dave Andrusko
During debate yesterday in Florida over a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion Rep. Jimmie Smith made what might seem like a simple statement on the surface but underneath was packed with meaning.
“This is not a procedure — it is a life,” he said. Smith added, referring to the author of HB 633, freshman Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, “Representative Sullivan, the greatest consequence of your bill is a beautiful baby.”
The Florida House passed the bill Wednesday on a vote of 77-41. The Senate is expected to take up the bill today or Friday.
“I am here today as an advocate for those women who are being pressured,” Rep. Sullivan said. According to Margie Menzel of the News Service of Florida
Elected last year at age 23, Sullivan has said she has witnessed pressure placed upon women by their loved ones — especially a spouse or a boyfriend — to make a hasty decision about having abortions.
“I care about the women who have sat in my office,” she said. “I care about the women who have cried in committee.”
If HB 633 is enacted, Florida would join 24 other states which require that women pause to reflect at least 24 hours before getting an abortion. As NRL News Today reported on Tuesday, there were strong favorable votes in Tennessee in support of informed consent, a 48 hour waiting period for women and girls considering abortion, and a requirement that abortion facilities be inspected and licensed by the Tennessee Department of Health. The measures await the expected signature of Gov. Bill Haslam.