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Tougher Abortion Regulations Could Head to Florida in 2016

January 20, 2016 - 5:15pm

Many abortion clinics across Florida may be forced to shut down if a new bill requiring new licensing procedures gets a seal of approval from the Florida Legislature this year.

The legislation, HB 233, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, would make abortion clinics offering procedures during the second and third trimester to go through the same licensing procedures as hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and mobile surgical facilities. 

Supporters of the proposal say patient safety is the utmost priority and the biggest reason the bill should pass. The legislation would require abortion clinics to submit their construction plans to the Agency for Health Care Administration, which would determine the clinics’ regulations. 

Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, told committee members the legislation added “extra levels of protection” for women seeking abortions.

“If a woman goes [to a clinic], they need to know their safety is paramount,” said Diaz.

Some committee members agreed. 

“This is a bill that will protect and enhance women’s health,” said committee member Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood. 

Opponents of the legislation, say that wouldn’t be the case. They contend the bill would severely limit women’s reproductive rights, forcing many abortion clinics in Florida to close down due to overregulation. 

“These laws have nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with shutting down providers by placing unreasonable building requirements on health care centers,” wrote the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood on the bill. 

Pro-abortion groups agreed, saying the legislation unfairly targeted abortion clinics. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which came out against the bill, pointed to similar controversial legislation which passed through Texas in 2014 and is currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Florida Legislature’s actions are imprudent, wasteful and unconstitutional – there is simply no compelling reason to move forward with this legislation until the Supreme Court rules,” said Michelle Richardson, Director of Public Policy for ACLU of Florida.

A ruling on the Texas legislation is expected later this summer.

Similar legislation has been blocked from taking effect in other states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. 

“These personal decisions belong with a woman, her family, and her doctor, not politicians at the Capitol,” Richardson continued. 

“The idea behind [the bill] is one that we should all be very familiar with...if you put as many onerous, unnecessary and expensive regulations as possible onto abortion providers, that you will force many of them to close,” said Carlos Guillermo Smith of Equality Florida. “We all know that that’s the goal here. That’s the point of this legislation.”

Smith said the bill was part of a larger agenda to limit reproductive rights.

“These attacks roll back very hard fought freedoms,” he said. “It will devastate many low-income women who cannot afford to travel longer distances because abortion providers in their areas have been shut down.”

Just because the bill saw success in the House Health Innovation subcommittee doesn’t mean it will pass through all the stops necessary to become law in Florida. The bill still needs a Senate sponsor, but if courts step in, the bill may be headed nowhere due to a legal challenge. 

See the full text of the bill here


AND now, "Planned Parenthood" has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the video evidence depicting "Planned Parenthood" administrators negotiating sales of baby body parts... "Planned Parenthood" should be shut down and the doors nailed shut forever; and the "PP" administrators prosecuted, tarred & feathered and run out of town with the admonition that if they return they will be incarcerated. I hope those videographers sue them for 'defamation of character',...the evidence for that is definitely there and some attorney should pro bono THAT case, for the fame and notoriety alone...additionally on the basis of 1st Amendment free speech and investigative journalism. ( Have at it boys & girls ! )

As in other Republican-dominated states, these proposals are not about Legislators' concern for women's safety. No one has supplied ANY statistics that show that these clinics have any "safety" issues. Will be interesting to see how the SCOTUS rules on the Texas lawsuit filed against these same restrictions. Political prostitution-pandering to the religious right- and women's reproductive heath choices determined not by herself and her physician, but politicians who have no medical expertise.

I understand and respect your right to support abortion as you see fit, but you've written a VERY incorrect statement here. "No one has supplied ANY statistics that show that these clinics have any "safety" issues." That's just not true. The wave of state investigations after the release of the undercover videos revealed problems in three of the 11 clinics visited in Florida. Pro-life watchdog groups post stories every time a clinic gets a citation or problematic review from the relevant state agencies ... but mainstream news doesn't generally report it unless someone dies. There are dozens of scholarly articles in peer reviewed journals that report on major and minor complication rates from abortion [most articles conclude the rates are low, at 2 - 3%, but you said there weren't ANY problems, as in zero ... which is false]. WebMD and the CDC have splash pages on abortion that say women who undergo the procedure "rarely" develop psychological problems ... but, if you read the source articles cited, you'll discover the rate of self-reported increased depression after the abortion is 30%. As I said, by all means support abortion access as you see fit. But know the statistics, so that people can't undermine your claims by pointing out that you're wrong.

If Republican males would use contraceptives we would not be in this situation.

Given that you know what you're talking about, it would seem that the optimum solution to the problem would be for Democrat females to put those contraceptives on those dastardly Republican males for them; I'm sure they would appreciate your help...and the demographics would probably prove that out eventually....

"Extra levels of protection", I call BS. This isn't about protecting women, it is about controlling them.

WHY, THE ABSURDITY OF IT !!!!!... Next, "they" will be calling for the removal and abolishment of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution !!! (BUT, if "they" wait awhile, Shari'a law will solve this abhorent situation for "them"...

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