Florida Governor Rick Scott on Friday signed a law that cuts off state funding for preventive health services to clinics providing abortion and imposes abortion restrictions already being tested before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Florida is among many states adopting new abortion laws as conservatives seek to chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Scott signed 68 new laws and issued statements on some non-controversial bills on Friday but did not comment on the abortion statute.
The bill, which easily passed the Republican-controlled legislature earlier this month, has been the target of television advertisements by Planned Parenthood and protests at the Capitol by women urging a veto.
John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, called the law “a historic victory,” in a statement.
State funding of abortion was already prohibited, but the new law also blocks money for services for low-income women at the clinics.
It also requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital – a type of formal affiliation that can be difficult to obtain – within a “reasonable” distance of clinics.
In addition, the law requires annual inspection of clinics by health authorities and tightened rules on disposal of aborted fetal tissue.
“For Rick Scott to prioritize political pandering over his own constituents’ access to healthcare is more than cynical. It’s shameful,” Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said in a statement.
She predicted HIV rates will “skyrocket” and teenage pregnancies will rise because women will lose access to regular treatment at state-funded clinics.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a similar law in Texas, where several clinics have closed because of new restrictions.
Legislative sponsors in Florida argued that the law was not meant to shutter clinics but protect women with new safety rules.
The law takes effect July 1 but will probably be challenged in court quickly. Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said he was not surprised the governor signed the bill.
“He claims to be for small government, pro-freedom and opposed to putting government in between people and their doctors – except when it comes to Florida’s women,” said Simon.
Another Florida law passed last year, requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion, recently took effect and faces a continued legal challenge.
(Reporting by Bill Cotterell in Tallahassee, Florida; Editing by Curtis Skinner and Steve Orlofsky)
Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report
On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.
"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."
Republican freaks out after Democrat quotes Trump’s racist statement on the floor of Congress
Chaos continued on the floor of the House of Representatives during the debate on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four young women of color.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) rose to support the resolution, listing multiple instances of racism from the commander-in-chief.
As part of the list, Swalwell noted Trump's attacks on "sh*thole countries."
After he swore on the floor by quoting the president, Republicans freaked out.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) complained and got in a back-and-forth with Swalwell.
Collins sought to have Swalwell's words stricken from the Congressional Record, which would have banned him from speaking for the rest of the day.
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President Donald Trump is not going to get the 2020 opponent he wants, so he's going to pretend that his actual opposition is being led by the four young women in Congress known as The Squad, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote on Tuesday.
Trump has spent the last few days with racist attacks on the four first-term members, who are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).