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Florida: Did You Know?

Did you know that a dangerous anti-choice bill requiring mandatory ultrasounds and banning insurance coverage of abortion care was vetoed by Florida's anti-choice governor?

In April 2010, anti-choice politicians in the Florida state legislature amended a bill that had no connection to reproductive rights, H.B.1143, to include a dangerous mandatory-ultrasound requirement as well as an abortion-coverage ban.  Anti-choice former Gov. Charlie Crist (R) vetoed the bill in June 2010, expressing concern with the mandatory-ultrasound provision.

In the governor’s veto letter, he cited his belief that “personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary.”  NARAL Pro-Choice America actively opposed this bill and mobilized 1,200 activists to call then-Gov. Crist’s office requesting that he veto the bill. 

If enacted, the bill would have forced women to undergo an ultrasound before receiving abortion care, even when not medically necessary, and would have required abortion providers to obtain costly ultrasound equipment.  The health professional performing the ultrasound would have been required to offer the opportunity to view the ultrasound images to the woman, although she could opt not to do so. 

Additionally, the bill would have prohibited private health-insurance plans in the new exchange that will be established under health-care reform from covering abortion services for any customers receiving subsidies, even if they purchased their insurance plans almost entirely with their own funds.  While the bill allowed for separate rider policies to be purchased, this is a false promise; in the few states with laws similar to this proposal, there is no evidence that riders are even offered.

Tristram Korten, Crist Vetoes Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Bill, The Florida Independent (June 11, 2010).

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