Abortion waiting period bill goes to governor's desk
Republicans in the state legislature have won a battle in the abortion wars, as they've sent a bill that requires women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion.
A health care group expects Gov. Rick Scott to sign it, though he will not comment publicly.
It was a 26-13 party-line vote.
Democrats were incensed.
"No woman wakes up and says oh, I'll have an abortion," said State Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa. "Every woman should have the right."
Republicans insisted otherwise.
"This is not a medical procedure," said State Sen. Rob Bradley. "This is a life."
Women are now required to have an ultrasound and informational doctor's visit the day before having the abortion.
"Just take a moment to think about it," said State Sen. Anitere Flores (R) of Miami. "Take a moment to make your decision. Allow it to be an informed decision, and reflective decision."
Health care provider Planned Parenthood says the bill is an attempt to chip away at a right the Supreme Court enshrined decades ago.
They also say the waiting period is an attack on mental health.
"No legislation should be introduced with the intention of judging, or shaming or coercing women," said Erin Jensen, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. "I unfortunately think that is the effect of this law."
Planned Parenthood says court challenges are planned, though they would have to find a woman who has legal standing - one who would argue she was harmed by the law requiring her to wait.
They believe Florida's constitution has broad privacy statutes.
"That has happened in other states where it has been tied up in the courts," Jensen said.
Planned Parenthood insists it'll make it tougher for women especially in rural areas to have abortions.
GOP senators insist they're protecting women and fetuses.
"This does not limit a woman's right to make the choice, if she wants to have the abortion," said State Senator Kelli Stargel (R) of Lakeland.
Planned Parenthood says they're already required to show the woman an ultrasound and provide information on all options.
Governor Scott's office does not comment on legislation until he physically receives the bill.