Rick Scott signed yet another controversial abortion bill into law last week, no doubt a gift to conservative and so-called "pro-life" voters that he hopes will flock to the polls for him in November:
House Bill 1047 bans abortions once a fetus is considered viable, which is typically at 23 weeks of gestation. The new law, which passed with a partisan vote in the Legislature, replaces Florida's existing ban on abortions starting in the third trimester, which is about two weeks after the new standard.
Scott has always claimed he's pro-life. His spokesman released this statement Friday:
"Governor Scott is pro-life and was glad to sign this bill that protects the lives of children," spokesman John Tupps said in an email.
Yes, protecting the lives of children. At least until they're out of the womb, in which case they're on their own if they can't gain access to, or their parents can't afford, health care.
His spokesman said Scott is protecting the children, but apparently not so much the mother of that child:
The shorter time frame for a legal abortion puts women's lives at greater risk if they're experiencing complications from pregnancies, said Dr. Sujatha Prabhakaran of Planned Parenthood.
"By signing this bill into law, Gov. Rick Scott is taking Florida two steps backwards," Prabhakaran said in a statement. "This law limits health exceptions and could risk women's health and lives."
- Two physicians certify in writing that, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition.
If a women's life is in danger, waiting around to find two physicians to certify as required would put her life at more risk in many circumstances, as well as the child's.
But details like that mean little to those calling themselves pro-life. If they did, those individuals would care as much about the child after it's born as they do when it's in the womb. Scott's other policies just don't add up in the "caring about the children" column.
Once again, the governor who hates big government proves otherwise by inserting himself and the GOP legislature between women and their doctors, and by making women's health choices for them.