Florida's House and Senate have put forward bills that would require women to wait 24 hours and make two face-to-face visits with their doctors before getting an abortion.
Proponents say the bills would allow women to be more informed about their decisions. They invited a Tallahassee lawyer who had an abortion 30 years ago and says she now regrets doing so.
“Who knows if I would have changed my mind if I had received information about the procedure’s risks and the baby’s gestational age from a physician and then been required to wait 24 hours before ending my pregnancy,” Julie Costas told a Senate panel, according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune's Lloyd Dunkelberger.
But opponents blasted the proposals as dangerous and misguided.
“This bill is just another impediment in a continuing effort to erode a woman’s right to choose,” said Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa according to Dunkelberger. “The (U.S.) Supreme Court has said it’s lawful, it’s legal and we just need to move on and let women decide what is in their best interest.”
Michelle Richardson, director of public policy for ACLU of Florida, told Dunkelberger that the requirements would also have trouble standing up to scrutiny under the state's constitution.
"The state test is very strict," she said. "The question is: are they using the least intrusive means?…When you have a provision like that, that is not really aimed at informed consent but is more about erecting a hurdle, it’s not going to withstand review.”
Florida already has a patchwork of abortion laws in effect. One parent must be informed and a doctor must offer a patient the choice of seeing a picture of the fetus. But the procedure may be carried out in almost all circumstances, which is the same standard in California.
Both bills have cleared committees and are now before their full voting floors.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.