Abortion bills ready for final House vote

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The Florida House is ready Wednesday to approve a sweeping series of abortion restrictions, including a requirement that women undergo ultrasounds before they can terminate pregnancies, reports the News Service of Florida.

House members took up five bills Tuesday that target issues such as insurance coverage for abortions, teen abortions, state funding of abortions and clinic ownership. A sixth bill would change how money is used from sales of the ?hoose Life?license plate.

Republicans rejected a string of Democratic amendments during a four-hour debate. Democrats ?who earlier sent out news releases describing the bills as ?nti-women?and ?nti-female??repeatedly questioned the abortion focus when many voters are concerned about issues such as jobs and the economy.

?ould this legislation result in any creation of jobs??Rep. Charles Chestnut, D-Gainesville, asked at one point.

But Rep. Rachel Burgin, a Riverview Republican who sponsored one of the bills, said ?ou cannot put an economic study on life.?

? believe the health of women and health of families is really important,? she said.

With Republicans controlling the governor? office and both chambers of the Legislature for the past dozen years, debates about abortion bills have been common. But the volume of bills moving forward this year has been unusual.

The Senate could take up two abortion bills on the floor Wednesday, and others appear to have a chance at passing before the legislative session ends May 6.

Click here for summaries of the House bills that are poised for votes as early as Wednesday.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.