Florida Governor Charlie Crist has vetoed a bill that would have required an ultrasound exam for women seeking an abortion during the first trimester. The vetoed bill also contained a provision that would have opted the state out of using federal funds for abortions under the new health care law.
“This bill places an inappropriate burden on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy,” Gov. Crist stated in his veto announcement.
“Individuals hold strong personal views on the issue of life, as do I,” he continued. “However, personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary.”
The governor stated, “In this case, such action would violate a woman's right to privacy.” Gov. Crist, who recently switched his party affiliation to Independent under pressure in a tight re-election race, had previously trumpeted his pro-life and family credentials.
The proposed legislation would have required women to view the live ultrasound image or have it described by a doctor, unless they could prove they were victims of rape, incest or domestic violence.
“There are many medical or fiscal barriers that could be placed upon a woman in order to prevent her from following through on her constitutionally protected decision to end a pregnancy,” said Crist.
“However, such measures do not change hearts, which is the only true and effective way to ensure that a new life coming into the world is loved, cherished, and receives the care that is deserved,” he concluded.
Matthew Faraci, spokesman for Americans United for Life, responded with disappointment to the veto.
“Governor Crist had the opportunity to stand with the overwhelming majority of Americans across the political spectrum who oppose taxpayer-funded abortion,” Faraci said.
“By vetoing this abortion opt-out legislation, Governor Crist makes it clear that he stands with those who favor taxpayer funding of abortion.”