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As Scott Signs Bill Stifling Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Sees Danger and Cruelty

| March 28, 2016

planned parenthood

Planning takes a hit in Florida. (Timothy Krause)

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved a sweeping measure that will tighten restrictions on Florida abortion clinics to the point that some say they will be forced to close.

Spokeswomen for Planned Parenthood, which will lose funding under the bill (HB 1411), called the measure “dangerous” and “cruel.”

But supporters, including Pam Olsen of the International House of Prayer, hailed the new law.

“It’s good news on Good Friday,” said Olsen, who is frequently involved in issues at the Capitol.

The bill, which passed largely along party lines, restricts state agencies, local governments and Medicaid managed-care plans from contracting with organizations that own, operate or are affiliated with clinics that perform elective abortions.

That restriction, said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, means low-income Floridians could lose access to the organization’s health-care and family-planning services. Planned Parenthood said it has more than 67,000 patients in Florida annually.

“As a result of this bill, thousands of people across Florida may no longer be able to access essential reproductive health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams,” Richards said in a statement. “This cruel bill is designed to rip health care away from those most at risk.”

Senate sponsor Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said on the Senate floor that the bill would likely close six of Florida’s 65 abortion clinics.

Among its provisions, the measure will require clinics that perform first-trimester abortions to have patient-transfer agreements with nearby hospitals, or for clinic doctors to have admitting privileges nearby. Clinics that perform second-trimester abortions would have to meet both conditions.

Opponents contend those provisions are medically unnecessary, but supporters say they will protect women’s health and safety.

“Abortionists will finally be held to the same standard as all other physicians who perform invasive procedures in a non-hospital setting by the requirement to have admitting privileges or a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital,” Ingrid Delgado of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement. “It is incomprehensible that opponents suggest the bill makes women less safe.”

Additionally, the bill changes the definition of a first trimester to the period from fertilization through the end of the 11th week of pregnancy. That’s a different definition than the state has used in the past, but it’s consistent with an administrative action last year by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which alleged that five clinics — including three Planned Parenthood facilities — performed second-trimester abortions without the proper licenses. Clinics have filed challenges, contending that the state changed the definition of a first trimester without notice.

Also, the new law will require the state to inspect at least 50 percent of abortion-clinic records each year. It also bans the sale and donation of fetal remains from abortions and increases the penalties for the improper disposal of fetal remains.

Opponents have said the bill was partly aimed at punishing Planned Parenthood, which has been the target of a national controversy since last year, when videos surfaced alleging that the organization was profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood strongly denied the allegations, and a Texas grand jury that looked at the issues cleared the organization of wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Planned Parenthood deployed a six-figure ad buy to urge Scott to veto the bill and delivered 12,000 petitions to that effect to the governor’s office — without success.

“I thought all along he would sign it,” Olsen said. “He’s signed every pro-life bill that’s come across his desk.”

Planned Parenthood and its allies are vowing to fight the new law, but were not ready Friday to say whether they will go to court to try to get it struck down on constitutional grounds.

“We’re evaluating all of our options and will do everything in our power to protect access to care,” Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, wrote in an email.

But House sponsor Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, has said an amendment approved by the Senate before the final votes was aimed at making sure the measure meets constitutional tests.

Abortion-related laws have repeatedly drawn legal challenges over the years, including a case now pending at the Florida Supreme Court about a 2015 law that requires 24-hour waiting periods before women can have abortions. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a Texas law that includes a number of provisions that Florida has adopted.

–Margie Menzel, News Service of Florida

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18 Responses for “As Scott Signs Bill Stifling Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Sees Danger and Cruelty”

  1. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    “Good news on a Good Friday”? Really? We’re talking about fetuses here. Maybe we should just let the women give birth and then kill their kids, the bible’s totally ok with that.

    Here’s Psalm 137:8-9:

    “8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
    happy is the one who repays you
    according to what you have done to us.
    9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
    and dashes them against the rocks.”

    Looks like the hebrew didn’t have a problem killing babies.

    2 Kings 2:23-25:

    “23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 25 And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.”

    Looks like killing kids is ok, yep.

    The bible’s chock full of this kind of stuff, and yet people just overlook it when trying to legislate morality like this.

  2. Geezer says:

    In response to Donald Trump’s Tiny Fingers:

    Oh don’t worry, someone will try to explain those scriptures away,
    and make them sound wise, as they hand you a freshly baked
    devil’s food cake.

  3. K. Murray says:

    “67,000 patients in Florida”

    That’s 67,000 single-visit patients…

  4. Geezer says:

    I forgot Devil Dogs!

  5. Sherry says:

    Dear Geezer. . . my laugh of the morning. . . thanks!

    Our horrific governor and his henchmen in the legislature are yet again doing all they can to work against women and women’s health care! Their strident “Tea Party” stance against “government” interference in people’s lives is completely hypocritical when it comes to the desire to carry forth “their” personal religious/political agendas!

    Here come the comments from those who have no problem taking away a woman’s rights over her own body and life. Yet. . . those same people who desire to FORCE women to give birth are often the first ones who vote to cut funding for assisting those children and woman once the child is out of the womb. Then they are often the ones who label those struggling with the responsibilities of single parenthood as “the takers”. Blaming those who you are trying to CONTROL! Despicable!

  6. wow really says:

    If a woman cannot afford to have a child then she should be able to have an abortion. If she decides to give birth to the child and keep the child and cannot afford too then she has to rely on Government help. That means that the tax payers are paying for her child. It is backwards and wrong. Women should only have a child if she can afford to otherwise it is a lose-lose situation for everyone. Birth control is the smartest way to avoid the situation in the first place whether it be birth-control pills or condoms. These men that pressure sex should be stopped. They don’t want to have a baby so they should wear protection. Bottom line. Only have sex if your married and can afford to raise a child for the rest of your life. A child is forever. The whole thing just makes me wanna cry.

  7. Obama 2016 says:

    Can I ask how this is going to help Florida? This will cost more jobs and make it harder for more poor white people that have no insurance and limited transportation.

    This will then lead to a lawsuit and cost the tax payers even more money that could have been put toward something useful like updating I-95 or I-4 or education.

    I am so sick and tired of this Abortion issue come to think of it.

    It’s legal and we have the technology to make it safe and affordable if it is required. No woman wakes up, clicks her heels and smiles with Glee when this decision is made. Also your not a person until your born.

    However, 33,636 people die a year in the United States from gun violence and according to the constitution and the Supreme Court both the right to bare arms and a women’s choice are rights that are protected.

    Can we just evolve already ?

    Don’t want to own a gun? Don’t get one

    Don’t want to have an abortion? Don’t get one.

    Stay out of my bedroom and I will stay out of your gun cabinet.

    Now get to work on educating our youth and giving them a future so they can have a job and raise a family in Florida.

  8. Common Sense says:

    And the Republican war on women continues.

  9. Joe says:

    So sad, I feel bad for the women, and for the families this bill will effect. Women should be the ones who make this personal choice. Godbless

  10. Lin says:

    Abortion isn’t funny
    All the mocking of religion and the bible that goes on here is despicable to use Sherry’s word. Where.’a the freedom of religion and free speech for those that are religious? Who is speaking out for those people? I’m not much for organized religion myself, but have mercy. To see the persecution around the world and then read the mocking here — it’s so hypocritical to pretend to be for rights of women in this country and ignore the plight of those around the world dying and enslaved with no rights. That’s despicable to me. Genocide is happening against Christians — no joking matter.
    How do the caustic comments here about some people’s beliefs advance the discussion?
    Abortion is legal
    I agree it should be, but I am seriously wondering if there should be a time limit since science has advanced to where viability could be at 20-21 weeks. If that baby could live outside the womb, isn’t an abortion after that time murder?
    These are the types of discussions that I think are interesting and valuable.
    I don’t see anything in this regulation described in the story that would prevent any woman from exercising her rights to healthcare.
    The requiring of the clinics to be connected with hospitals through admitting privileges is a good thing?

  11. chopshop says:

    SIMPLE SOLUTION, take responsibility and keep your legs shut.

  12. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Hey Lin, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from ridicule. If your faith can’t handle being mocked, then you should examine why exactly it is you’re so insecure about it.

  13. Lin says:

    The real question DTTF is what do you get out of ridiculing someone’s beliefs, especially when they are being persecuted?

  14. Sherry says:

    Like I’ve said before . . . ignorant MEN who think they should control and make life decisions for women. Just look at the comment from chopshop here. . . ludicrous. . . simply “blaming the victims” of what could easily be rape or incest, or even rape in marriage. Who do you think he supports in the upcoming Presidential election? A great example of an unfortunately large portion of our culture that is actually de-evolving back to the dark ages.

    As Lin points out, there is massive injustice, murder, rape, torture and enslavement of women world wide. However, I would like to add the FACT that it is happening to women of ALL RACES and ALL RELIGIONS! A Christian life is no more valuable or sacred than any other! Talk about horror. . . take a read:

    India – Torture And Murder Of
    Muslim Women Beyond Belief
    By Indo-Asian News Service

    New Delhi (IANS) — A citizen’s tribunal that spoke to victims of the sectarian bloodshed in Gujarat has chronicled most brutal and inhuman torture of women, leaving survivors and their families emotionally scarred for life.

    Before they were killed, the usual routine that they were made to go through by the killer mobs was rape, gang rape, mass rape, stripping, parading, insertion of objects in their body, molestation and torching.

    “Rape was used as an instrument for subjugation and humiliation of a community,” noted the tribunal headed by former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer and comprising former judges and activists.

    The tribunal collected evidence from 16 Gujarat districts and spoke to hundreds of women victims.

    The report said a chilling cover-up technique was destruction of the evidence by burning the victims.

    “Barring a few, in most instances of sexual violence, women victims were stripped and paraded naked, gang-raped and quartered and burnt beyond recognition.”

    Many of the 33,000-odd children forced to live in refugee camps throughout Gujarat were mute witnesses to sexual crimes against their womenfolk – mothers, sisters, aunts and even grandmothers.

    In Naroda Patiya, one of the worst affected villages in the violence, the tribunal records that mobs even raped girls as young as 3 or 11 years. Babies were cut up and flung into pyres.

    Young girls were made to remove their clothes in front of 1,000-2,000 strong mobs that humiliated them. Eight to 10 men raped them. After this, attackers inserted sharp swords, knives or other objects into their bodies and tortured them before burning them alive.

    When women begged and pleaded with police personnel to save them, they were told that the police had orders to “do nothing for 24 hours in Naroda”.

    Forty-six women were among the 96 bodies that were buried in a mass grave after the village had been ravaged by the mobs.

    A rape victim from the Godhra relief camp told the tribunal that she was “stripped, gang-raped, her baby was killed in front of her, she was beaten up, burnt and left for dead.”

    Women were also attacked with acid, beaten up with rods for an hour, their vagina sliced, or iron rods pushed inside. Their bellies would be cut open and objects inserted.

    A 13-year-old girl had a rod pushed into her stomach. A mother recounted that her three-year-old baby was raped and killed.

    One of the most gruesome accounts was that about the death of Kausar Bano, a pregnant woman of Naroda Patiya. She was raped, tortured, her womb was slit open with a sword; her foetus was torn out, hacked to pieces and burnt alive with its mother.

    Women from Shah Alam and Danilimda villages went to the police to seek protection for their families. The police ignored them. But when they got persistent, the police came with reinforcements and rained batons and rifle buts on them.

    In some villages, where the police allegedly colluded with the mobs and facilitated their entry into Muslim lanes and houses, women suffered quite another kind of humiliation.

    When the women tried to shield their houses from the police and the mobs, the police pulled down their trousers and shouted abuses at the women, the tribunal was told by various victims.

    The tribunal was told by a woman of Vadodara that she was beaten so brutally by the police that she gave premature birth and had blood oozing out of one breast while feeding her baby with the other.

    In Tarsali village, a woman was made to watch as her son was dragged down from a tree that he had climbed in desperation, his fingers cut off and the rest of his body dismembered. That was the last picture in her mind before she died.

    The report notes: “In Gujarat, the degree of violence and sexual crimes against women reached unprecedented levels. That sexual crimes against Muslim women took place on such a large scale in post-independent, democratic and secular India is shocking in itself.”

  15. Lin says:

    Sherry, with all due respect
    These tortures are happening in a lot of places but it is the Christians that are being exterminated and are all but eliminated from the Middle East. Women do not have rights in the Middle East and under Sharia in Africa and other places where they have no voice. In Pakistan, the Taliban was targeting Christians on Easter even though Muslims died. 36 children, innocents died.

    I never said Christian lives are more important. That is a false jump to conclusions.
    And it is ironic that I find myself defending the defenseless here but here it is. It IS Christians that are targets right now and here in these threads are subject to constant ridicule.

    From a rather straightforward article about changes to Florida policy to require admitting privileges, the comments jumped to the bible, then mocking, then laughs just as I’m reading about Pakistan. If anyone subjected Muslims, their Koran, or the secular world to such mocking, as people are dying or being subjected to torture and death, would that be funny? Not to me.

  16. Sherry says:

    My goodness, in this world of terrorist attacks and history of religious atrocities by ALL (even Christian) religions. . . we need levity. . . we need perspective. . . we need courage. . . we need to live and embrace our freedoms to speak our minds . . . and to then to go about our daily lives without cringing under our beds and feeling persecuted!

    For example, our President needs to continue to rise above the fray and NOT drop all the important diplomatic work he is doing when emergencies, that he can do absolutely nothing about, happen in other countries. Yeah, the optics (only in the USA ) were not good when he socialized with foreign leaders and went to a ball game and did a little dancing. Ever heard of quiet defiance or courage under fire? Can you imagine what Trump or Cruz would do?

    Lin. . . how about not being so sensitive and taking absolutely everything about your religion so very personally? After all, we’re discussing our different views on women’s rights here. . . unless you are directly effected by this new legislation, it’s all about political concepts of social issues anyway. No one is laughing at you personally.

    The Christian religion and the bible. . . along with ALL other religious books. . . and even our constitution are flawed. They were written in vastly different times for vastly different cultures. . . and even then, they were written by imperfect human beings. It is actually healthy to have intellectual discussions about such things. . . that is how we stumble towards evolving as a species.

  17. Lin says:

    Sherry,
    Our President’s reactions to beheading and genocide and terrorism are indefensible. To go to a fundraiser after the beheading and golfing after terrorists strike is cold and insensitive and his foreign policy will cause untold continued loss of lives in the future. The apology kumbaya hypocracy all the while droning, setting the nsa and irs loose upon the citizens rights in this country, breaking the law by letting in millions of illegals to vote in more democrats all the while taking jobs and adding to the deficit by taking advantage of our social programs in record numbers. All this has nothing to do with religion or abortion.

    I have expressed here on Flaglerlive that I am not a fan of organized religion. Your statement of my being too sensitive about my religion has no basis in fact — sensitivity to the plight of those being attacked is a good thing, not bad. Making jokes about religion here is insensitive, not funny to me. And I won’t shut up about it.

    I don’t like to cite other news articles but the New York Times actually had an interesting one yesterday about why some people are attracted to Trump — he speaks for a lot of people that are marginalized and even discriminated against that no one else defends. That is what I was trying to do here. I find your comments insensitive and maybe you should consider that.

  18. Sherry says:

    Lin, I will continue to see the much larger picture, the more open minded/inclusive view, progressive view regardless of what any Trump supporter says. I actually am quite sensitive to the plight of “ALL” those who suffer at the hands of terrorists. . . not just Christians, or any one particular group.

    I define “terrorists” to be much broader than the narrow minded view of bigoted Trump supporters, who love to blame all the problems in our country on “them”. . . without looking inward at all. “Them” as defined to be anyone who is not lily white, who worships a different God, who speaks a different language, who chooses a different gender, etc. etc.

    Like twice elected President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and millions of others, I see anyone who demonizes large numbers of human beings as a “terrorist”. . . that includes Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh, et al!

    Those who use weapons of mass manipulation through the horrific propaganda of media and social networks are much more dangerous to our planet than even the those who committed the heart breaking atrocities against “Muslim” women. . . as “I” noted above. Where are your tears for those women and girls, Lin?

    If my speaking out against discrimination, racism, bigotry, religious zealotry, climate change deniers, the 1% who avoid paying their fair share of taxes, the wealthy power brokers, our horrific governor and legislature, the obstructionists in Congress, the Tea Party, the Donald Trump and Ted Cruz supporters, etc. is being insensitive and offensive to you, Lin, then so be it.

    I’m quite happy to agree to disagree!

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