Abortion

The Florida Legislature is moving forward with a bill that could restrict abortion access. But similar measures have been struck down in other states.

A House committee passed a bill Monday that would ban nearly all abortions in Florida, but even backers of the bill say its chances of passage, or of surviving a court challenge if it became law, likely are slim.

Support for legal abortion in the U.S. has edged up to its highest level in the past two years, with an Associated Press-GfK poll showing an apparent increase in support among Democrats and Republicans alike over the last year.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Planned Parenthood advocates used Tuesday's appearance of the group's leader at a Congressional  hearing as a chance to show support for continued federal funding.

Planned Parenthood Seeks Injunction After Abortion Allegations

Aug 17, 2015
Lottie Watts / WUSF

Planned Parenthood fired back Monday against allegations that three Florida abortion clinics provided second-trimester abortions without proper licenses, seeking an emergency injunction against the state Agency for Health Care Administration "to protect women's access to safe, legal abortion."

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Florida officials say three of the 16 Planned Parenthood facilities inspected last week were performing procedures beyond their licensing authority, and one facility was not keeping proper logs relating to fetal remains.

However, none of 16 clinics were found to be illegally selling or transferring fetal tissue or parts.

Associated Press

Planned Parenthood told Congress Monday that a secretly recorded video released last week by an anti-abortion group is fraudulent and part of a years-long pattern of illegal harassment aimed at prohibiting abortion.

Abortion Wait Period Back On Hold

Jul 6, 2015
Associated Press

In the latest move in a legal and political battle, a circuit judge has issued an order blocking a new law that requires women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion in Florida.

After a hearing by conference call on Thursday, Leon Circuit Judge Charles Dodson granted a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights to vacate a stay that had allowed the 24-hour waiting period to remain in effect.

A Florida judge is blocking a new state law that requires women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

Tallahassee Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis on Tuesday blocked the law today, a day before it was scheduled to take effect.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit after Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law. They argued that the law violates the right to privacy guaranteed in the state constitution by interfering with the right of women to undergo the procedure.

Court to Rule on Abortion Wait Challenge

Jun 25, 2015

Only days before a new Florida law would start requiring 24-hour waits before women can have abortions, a Leon County circuit judge is considering whether to place a hold on the law while a constitutional challenge goes forward.

The law (HB 633), which passed in April, is slated to go into effect July 1. The day after Gov. Rick Scott signed the law, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a constitutional challenge and sought an emergency injunction.

Abortion is back before the Supreme Court, and the justices could signal by the end of June whether they are likely to take up the biggest case on the hot-button subject in nearly a quarter-century.

If the court steps in, the hearing and the eventual ruling would come amid the 2016 presidential campaign.

Politico

Women will have to wait 24 hours before having an abortion under a bill Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed into law today, a reflective period supporters said they hoped would change some women’s minds before ending their pregnancies.

Scott signed the abortion measure along with 54 other bills, including legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to take experimental medicines. Scott also signed into law a measure that revises the rules for the panel that regulates Florida electric rates. He vetoed a bill dealing with home medical equipment providers.

Associated Press

The number of abortions performed in Florida dropped by 10 percent between 2010 and 2014, but the decrease is less than in other Republican-led states that have more aggressive restrictions on the procedure.

Roughly 72,100 abortions were performed in Florida in 2014, a 9.7 percent dip from about 79,900 in 2010, according to state health records. The number of abortion clinics has remained steady at about 70 during the time period.

In recent years, states have passed well over 250 laws restricting abortion. One trend in those restrictions: longer waiting periods before women can have the procedure.

Twenty-six states already have waiting periods. Most make women wait 24 hours between the time they get counseling on abortion and have the procedure. But this year, several states are extending that to 48 — even 72 — hours.

Republicans finally won House approval Wednesday for a late-term abortion ban after dropping rape provisions that provoked a rebellion by female GOP lawmakers, forcing party leaders into an embarrassing retreat.

The near party-line 242-184 vote was a victory for abortion opponents and a relief for top Republicans. Yet the path to passage took months of negotiations among anti-abortion groups, female lawmakers and party leaders, underscoring how tough it will be for the GOP to satisfy abortion foes while retaining support from women voters for next year's elections.

House Approves 24-Hour Waiting Period For Abortions

Apr 22, 2015

With the Senate also poised to take up the issue, the Florida House on Wednesday approved a bill that would require 24-hour waiting periods before women can have abortions.

The measure (HB 633), sponsored by freshman Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, passed on a vote of 77-41, largely along party lines.

The debate followed party lines, too, with Republicans arguing for the sanctity of life and Democrats arguing for the right to choose.

Abortion Waiting Period Moves Forward In Senate

Apr 16, 2015
Florida House of Representatives

A bill that would require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions passed a second Senate panel Wednesday, while an identical version (HB 633) is ready to go to the House floor.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-3 along party lines to approve the Senate measure (SB 724), filed by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami.

It would add a 24-hour waiting period to the conditions for informed consent before women can terminate pregnancies.

"Some people change their mind," Flores said. "It is not an undue burden."

The Florida Legislature is considering several new measures to restrict abortions, including one with a strong chance of passage that calls for a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can undergo the procedure.

That measure, House Bill 0633, would require that a woman make one trip to the clinic for legally required counseling before coming back 24 hours later for the procedure. Another measure, House Bill 147, with less chance of passage, would require that abortion clinic doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

  Woman seeking abortions would have to wait 24 hours under a bill now advancing in the Florida Legislature.

A House committee on Thursday approved the bill after hearing passionate testimony.

The measure sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan would require a woman seeking an abortion to talk in person to the physician performing the abortion at least 24 hours ahead of time.

Sullivan said she was sponsoring the bill (HB 633) to make sure women were not rushed into seeking an abortion.

Some say time heals all wounds.  But this week saw the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and all these years later, the ideological canyon separating opponents in the fight over abortion seems just as impossible to bridge.   

In the US House of Representatives Thursday, the temptation to use Roe v. Wade’s anniversary as a chance to vote on anti-abortion legislation was simply to great to pass up.  But it was the legislation they didn’t vote on that made the nightly news.

Doctors who want to provide abortions will need admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, according to a bill filed by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, the the News Service of Florida reports.

A state appeals court is backing a Tampa teen’s request to not notify her parents  that she wanted to get an abortion.

The News Service of Florida said the 2nd District Court of Appeal decision was the second case in a week related to the 2004 constitutional amendment about parental notification.

The court said a circuit judge disregarded the 18-year-old’s testimony that she researched abortion procedures and risks and considered alternatives.

A Florida district court has denied a pregnant minor’s appeal to avoid notifying her parents she planned to have an abortion. The ruling stems from a 2004 state constitutional amendment requiring parents to be notified before teenage daughters terminate pregnancies.

The Second District Court of Appeal has denied the appeal by an unidentified Hillsborough County minor. Under the state’s parental-notification law, the girl’s case was submitted to legal tests to determine if she qualified for a notification waiver that would allow her to have an abortion without telling her parents.

A Florida district court has denied a pregnant minor’s appeal to avoid notifying her parents she planned to have an abortion. The ruling stems from a 2004 state constitutional amendment requiring parents to be notified before teenage daughters terminate pregnancies.

The 2014 Florida Legislature passed a number of bills relating to health care, most of them modest in scope. 

But at least one that passed will probably save lives: the Child Welfare Act, which in part responds to the deaths of 477 children who were supposed to be under the protection of the Department of Children and Families.

The DCF overhaul had already begun before the session, but was intensified after the Miami Herald published the series Innocents Lost.

A House committee has approved a measure that would amend state abortion law, making the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb through standard medical care the threshold for termination.

The bill (HB 1047) passed the House Health and Human Services Committee by a 12-5 vote on Thursday.

Current Florida law uses the third trimester threshold to prohibit abortion, making anything after the 24th week of pregnancy illegal.

As if the rollout of the federal health law didn't have enough problems, abortion is back in the spotlight.

How the various health plans in the exchanges would or would not pay for abortion was one of the very last issues settled before the bill was passed in 2010. Now abortion's invisibility on the federal HealthCare.gov website has some people pretty upset.

Tampa Bay Times

In a plea deal agreement that will drop a murder charge down to product tampering and mail fraud, John Andrew Welden admitted he tricked his ex-girlfriend into taking medication that would cause her to miscarry her pregnancy, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Will Vragovic / Tampa Bay Times

John Andrew Welden, the man accused of tricking his ex-girlfriend into taking a pill that terminated her pregnancy, told investigators he didn’t want to bring a child into a divided home -- the kind he grew up in. 

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