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Florida Bill – Abortion 24 Hour Waiting Period

Photo by shutterstock, orlandoweekly.com

As of this writing, there was a bill sitting on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk that would subject Florida women designed to put yet another obstacle in the way of their access to legal, safe abortions.

This session, both houses of the Florida Legislature agreed that the state should implement a “for reflection” for women before they’re permitted to have an abortion. The argument, according to legislators who supported the bill, is that people have to wait for most medical procedures and that some women regret having abortions after the fact.

But the reality is that in Florida, women are already required to receive the following before they can have an abortion at all: An ultrasound, after which the medical professional offering it must ask if they would like to view an image from the procedure. Counseling from a physician who is required to tell a woman the estimated age of her fetus, as well as the nature and risks of the abortion she seeks.State-prepared pamphlets describing a fetus at various stages of development as well as contact information for various crisis-pregnancy organizations that provide “alternatives” to abortion and information on obtaining access to prenatal care.

It’s important to note that in Florida, it can be difficult to find a provider offering abortion services – the state already puts extra requirements on clinics and physicians willing to offer the procedures, and according to the Guttmacher Institute, 73 percent of all counties in the state had no abortion providers at all as of 2011; it counted just 88 abortion providers in the whole state.So by a time a woman has agonized over her decision, figured out how to pay for it, found a provider who can make time to see you and traveled to wherever that provider may be located, and had your mandatory counseling session, she has probably already had lots of time to “reflect” on your decision.

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About Erin Sullivan