This is what I’ve been waiting to see from Charlie Crist. News out of Florida today:
As he positions himself to the center in the U.S. Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday vetoed a measure requiring most women to pay for an ultrasound and hear a description of the fetus before they can have an abortion.
“This bill places an inappropriate burden on woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy,” Crist said in his veto message.
Way to go, Charlie.
This is important, because around the country states are encroaching on women’s rights, which Center for American Progress runs down in a great “abortion bills by the numbers” piece. How are they doing it? By passing mini Stupak amendments.
In addition to the insurance restrictions, abortion opponents are also using their newfound leverage to advance many of their old ideas-such as requiring ultrasounds before an abortion-and to push through a few novel ones, as well.
Here are the high-or should we say low-lights:
23: The number of provisions that have passed in the nine states that have enacted new abortion-related restrictions so far this year-Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
14: The number of states that have introduced laws this year that ban or limit abortion coverage in private insurance plans-either those purchased in the new health exchanges, in private markets outside of those exchanges, in government employee plans, or some combination thereof. So far, Arizona, Mississippi, and Tennessee have enacted such bills.
18: The number of states that have introduced legislation this year that requires abortion providers to offer their patients an ultrasound. Half of these bills mandate that the provider perform the ultrasound, regardless of whether the woman wants one, and a few go so far as to require the provider to show and/or describe the image to the woman. None of these bills provide state funding to cover the extra cost of the ultrasound. So far, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia have enacted ultrasound bills.*
14: The number of states that have introduced legislation or ballot initiatives this year to amend the state constitution to establish that legal personhood begins at conception, which would limit access to abortion, contraception, fertility treatments, and other medical services.
9: The number of states that have introduced bills this year that would criminalize abortions done purportedly because of the sex or race of the fetus.* Only Oklahoma’s bill has thus far become law.
9: The number of states that have introduced Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP, laws this year that impose burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements on abortion clinics that are much more rigorous than the requirements imposed on other outpatient medical practices.*
8: The number of bills that Oklahoma passed this year. The governor signed bills outlawing “sex-selective” abortion; allowing employees to refuse to participate in abortions, fetal transplants, procedures involving embryos, and euthanasia; requiring clinics to post signs saying that women cannot be forced to have abortions; and increasing restrictions on RU-486, also known as the “abortion pill.” The governor vetoed an insurance coverage ban, mandatory ultrasounds with a detailed description of the fetus, a 38-question survey about each abortion procedure, and immunity for doctors who omit or provide inaccurate information to women carrying fetuses with abnormalities. The legislature successfully overrode all the vetoes except the insurance ban. The ultrasound law is not in effect yet, pending a court challenge.
2: The number of bills introduced this year that ban abortion before viability. Nebraska banned abortion for almost any reason after 20 weeks gestation based on the unsubstantiated and highly contested claim that fetuses can feel pain at that point. This law is clearly unconstitutional under current precedent and was passed in order to challenge Roe v. Wade. South Carolina introduced similar legislation but did not vote on it.*
1: The number of laws enacted this year (in Utah) that define criminal homicide to include a “knowing” act by a pregnant woman that causes a miscarriage or stillbirth. This bill is so broad that it could apply to a woman who smokes cigarettes or takes prescription medication.
While state legislators have been busy making abortion almost impossible to obtain for an untold number of women, they have done little to provide women with the support they need to carry their pregnancies to term, have childbirth options available to them, and raise the children they have.
Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party helped make Bart Stupak a household name.Â This is what they’ve wrought.
Some naive women think our individual freedoms are set in stone.Â These views are as uninformed as they are dangerous.