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Abortion bill may be political land mine for Charlie Crist

in Statewide by

While most of the heated debate around an abortion measure passed in the waning hours of the 2010 legislative session has focused on a provision requiring a woman to have an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion, the legislation also includes a potential political land mine for Gov. Charlie Crist.

If Crist vetoes the bill, as he has indicated he is likely to do, he will also be nixing language that supporters say will bar taxpayer funding of abortions.

“We certainly are trying to bring that to the attention of everyone, because it’s a very big issue,” said John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, which supports the bill.

While opponents say those concerns are overblown, a veto could nonetheless give former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the presumed Republican nominee, a political wedge to use against Crist, now an independent, in their race for the U.S. Senate.

“If he vetoes the bill, that means that tax money, for the first time in Florida’s history, will be used to fund abortions,” said Rep. Charles Van Zant, a Keystone Heights Republican and staunch abortion opponent. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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