Another Campaign Promise Down the Drain.
by Jackson on 05/18/11
Despite the governor's campaign promise to focus on job creation, Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature have focused their attention on other matters.
In the legislative session that ended Saturday, lawmakers passed no job creation bills for Scott to sign. But they did pass five bills restricting abortion rights and a state budget that cuts nearly 4,500 public sector jobs.
The five bills, which Scott is expected to sign, force women to undergo ultrasounds prior to having an abortion, prohibit private insurance coverage of abortion care in the new state health-insurance exchange, require young women to prove the medical necessity of their abortions before a judge in order to bypass parental permission, establish state-sanctioned license plates that funnel money to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" and changes the state constitution to prohibit the government funding of abortion.
Florida Republicans filed a total of 18 anti-abortion bills during the session, the third most in the country, according to the ACLU, and twice the number of anti-choice laws introduced last year in the state, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
The focus on abortion rights has caused some lawmakers -- including some fellow Republicans -- to question how they got so far off-track.
"I came up here to help put food on the table," said state Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach) during debate on the ultrasound bill. "I came up here to get people jobs. I came up here to protect people from the kinds of safety issues that fire and police take care of. I came up here to protect education."
"I will vote no on every abortion bill," she added. "It is the wrong thing for us to be discussing."