House readies abortion bill for vote

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The House could vote Thursday to approve a wide-ranging bill that includes a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, reports the News Service of Florida. House members had a lengthy discussion Wednesday night about the bill (HB 277), which also includes changes such as requiring that new abortion clinics be owned and operated by physicians. Opponents have argued the ownership requirement would make it difficult to open abortion clinics. Bill sponsor Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, said Florida currently has 68 clinics, with one owned and operated by a doctor. Burgin said the bill would not stop women from having abortions. “It is going to make sure that the ones they are having are as safe as possible,” she said. But Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, questioned whether the state requires a similar 24-hour waiting period for any other type of medical procedure. “Isn’t this assuming women aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions and have to wait?” Schwartz asked.

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.