The Senate Judiciary Committee approved on a party-line vote a measure that would amend the Florida Constitution to bar any public funding of abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is endangered, reports the News Service of Florida. The measure (SJR 1538) originally called for public funding only to save the life of the mother, but was amended in committee to add the extra exceptions. “This does not take away the right of a woman to have an abortion,” said Judiciary Chairwoman Anitere Flores, R-Miami, who sponsored the amendment. “It simply clarifies that public funds will not be used to pay for that abortion.” Abortion-rights advocates argue that the measure would strip women who work for state or local governments from being able to get coverage for an abortion, potentially putting the procedure financially out of reach for some women. “Regardless of your views on abortion, health insurance for abortion is needed,” said Helen Strain with Planned Parenthood. The measure still has two committee stops.
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.