Planned Parenthood supporters handed more than 12,000 petitions to Gov. Rick Scott's office asking him to veto a controversial abortion bill that increases restrictions on clinics.
Scott has a little more than a week to sign HB 1411
, a bill similar to a Texas law currently being challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill blocks abortion clinics from receiving Medicaid funding for other services clinics provide, such as cancer screenings, contraception and STD tests. It requires clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and treats clinics more like surgical centers. The bill also toughens restrictions on improper disposal of fetal remains and changes Florida's definition of pregnancy trimesters.
The omnibus bill "threatens to block access to reproductive health care for thousands of Floridians," says Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates in a press release. Supporters of the bill say taxpayer dollars going to an organization that performs abortions, while not specifically for the procedure, is as bad as supporting abortions, the Tampa Bay Times
“The politicians behind this bill claim the restrictions are intended to improve women’s health, but the reality is that they will do just the opposite,” says Laura Goodhue, executive director of the affiliates organization, in the release. “We call on Gov. Scott to veto this shameful bill that will result in real costs when it comes to the health and well being of Floridians.”
reports Scott has until March 26 to sign the bill.