***Update – 3:41 p.m.***Florida House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands issued the following statement:
“The veto of House Bill 1143 is a victory for those who hold important the causes of personal freedom and less government intrusion in people’s lives. It’s a shame that Republican legislative leaders attempted to place an inappropriate burden on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy and attempted to so wrongly and unwisely expand the role of government. “I hope that the voters understand that Republican legislative leaders can’t be trusted.”
— **Update – 3:40 p.m.*** Anti-abortion advocate John Stemberger, head of the Florida Family Policy Council, called the veto “profoundly disappointing” and said it’s now “crystal clear that he’s pro-abortion.”
— Gov. Charlie Crist has vetoed a bill that would required women seeking an abortion during the first trimester to undergo an ultrasound exam and pay for it. Crist vetoed the bill Friday, saying it put an inappropriate burden on women seeking an abortion. The Republican-led Legislature tacked amendments onto a non-controversial health care bill (HB 1143) that also would have required women to view the live image or have it described by a doctor unless they could prove they were victims of rape, incest or domestic violence. Ultrasound exams can cost between a few hundred dollars and $1,500 and the women would have also been required to pay for the procedure. Democrats and many female Republican senators had asked Crist to veto the bill. You may read the full veto letter here.
Marco Rubio reacts:
“Once again, Charlie Crist has put politics ahead of principled policy-making. Not only would this commonsense measure have provided women with vital information as they make a critical decision, but now Governor Crist’s veto also clears the way for taxpayer funding of abortion in Florida. This veto will now make it harder for Florida to fight Obamacare, since the bill would have enabled our state to opt out of the abortion coverage mandate in the federal health care law. “Even those who agree with the outcome of the Governor’s decision should be alarmed that an issue as serious and deserving of sober deliberation as this one was treated in such a calculating, political manner. Florida deserves a U.S. senator who will think issues through and let principles, not the politics of the moment, guide their decisions. Not surprisingly, his latest decision is only the latest in a long litany of examples in which Charlie Crist has broken his word to Floridians.”
The House Majority Office reacts:
“Today, with his veto of House Bill (HB) 1143, Governor Charlie Crist chose to force Florida taxpayers to pay for elective abortions for the first time. Crist, who has repeatedly declared that pro-life Floridians could trust him to support their efforts, went back on his word and vetoed the only major legislation dealing with abortion presented to him during his term as governor.”