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Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs bill requiring women to visit clinics twice before having an abortion

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Women seeking abortions in Florida will be required to make two visits to a clinic, with a mandatory 24-hour waiting period in between, to end a pregnancy under a bill signed into law on Wednesday.

Republican Governor Rick Scott signed the measure, passed this spring by the Republican-controlled state legislature, without comment.

“This means women will be empowered to make fully informed decisions,” said Republican state Representative Jennifer Sullivan, who sponsored the legislation. “It’s just common courtesy to have a face-to-face conversation with your doctor about such an important decision — especially for such an irreversible procedure as an abortion.”

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Opponents said it would unnecessarily burden women by creating a stressful waiting period and additional expense.

The bill was amended to let doctors waive the waiting period in cases of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking.

The push for more restrictive waiting periods comes amid a wave of anti-abortion laws passed by a number of states in recent years as conservatives seek to chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion [ID: nL1N0XZ1TM].

When Florida’s law takes effect on July 1, 28 states will require a waiting period for an abortion, with several states requiring waits as long as 72 hours, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks reproductive policy.

Currently, 11 states require women to make two clinic visits for an abortion, the institute added. With restrictions passed by Florida and other states this year, the count will soon rise to 14.

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Michelle Richardson, director of public policy for the ACLU of Florida, said her organization was considering a legal challenge to the new Florida law.

“With this dangerous law, Florida is joining other states in the race to the bottom for limiting women’s ability to make their own personal healthcare decisions,” she said. “Not only is the 24-hour mandatory delay medically unnecessary, it could in fact interfere with a woman’s health.”

The state legislature approved the bill in late April, with most Republicans voting for it and most Democrats opposed.

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State law already required an “informed consent” briefing to tell women the state of gestation and the possible side effects of abortion, but that talk could be delivered immediately before the procedure.

(Reporting by Bill Cotterell; Editing by Letitia Stein and Peter Cooney)

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‘They just fired on us’: Horrifying videos of cops ‘using journalists for target practice’ in Minneapolis

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Journalists covering the protests in Minneapolis reported on being targeted by police on Saturday.

Multiple reports -- including live coverage on CNN -- showed police firing rubber bullets at journalists.

It’s open season on the media for the cops in Minneapolis. Evil. https://t.co/ZR3Nnf9ofH

— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 31, 2020

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Scientists warn of ‘superspreaders’ as Americans flock back to restaurants, salons and churches

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SAN DIEGO — Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?They’ve all been cleared to reopen in San Diego County amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”This week Kimberly Prather of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography penned an urgently worded perspective paper in t... (more…)

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About 75% of Trump’s proposed coronavirus capital gains tax cut would go to the top 1% of earners

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Roughly three-quarters of the benefits from the capital gains tax cut floated by President Donald Trump as part of the administration's coronavirus relief plan would go to the top 1% of earners, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Trump has repeatedly floated a cut to capital gains taxes, which are taxes paid by investors on profits made when an asset, like stock or real estate, is sold. The capital gains tax rate is already 35% lower than the top income tax rate, and only about 6% of households in the bottom 80% of earners claim any capital gains, meaning the overwhelming majority of benefits would flow to the wealthy.

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