Roundup: Newsweek Responds Again, Florida Continues Ultrasound Fight


On the heels of the passage of the Oklahoma ultrasound bill, the Florida House, after being effectively shut down yesterday by the Democrats over its ultrasound bill, is back for debate today. The bill was already passed by the Senate yesterday and while the Democrats might stall they seem to have little chance of stopping it completely. The Palm Beach Post explains:

In the House Thursday, Democrats successfully blocked a single bill from being taken up for a vote by using a procedural maneuver that requires a two-thirds vote to consider certain bills originating from the Senate. But that won’t work with the anti-abortion measure because the bill it is attached to originated in the House.

So Republicans need only a majority vote, and they have 76 of the 120 members in the House.

Still the debate over the bill will be contentious the Orlando Sentinel reports:

The early House debate focused on the government mandate requiring women to pay for the ultrasound, which medical websites say can cost from $200 to $1,000. Doctors or a nurse also would be ordered to explain the images and stage of fetal development. Women would have to sign a form if they refused to view the images.

“We are mandating a cost on someone,” said Rep. Richard Steinberg, D-Miami Beach. “I want to know, what is the cost of the procedure we are mandating on a woman who exercises her right to choose what to do with her body?”

Even if the Democrats cannot stop the bill from passing there is some thought that Gov. Charlie Crist might veto it.

Democrats predicted the measure wouldn’t escape the veto pen of Gov. Charlie Crist, who has been distancing himself from the Republican-controlled Legislature in recent weeks and announced Thursday he would campaign for the U.S. Senate as an independent.

The ultrasound mandate is a “big, fat softball he can hit out of the park,” said Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach. “[Crist] will do a veto tour and veto it in every city in Florida.”

In Other News: The ethics complaint against Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline for his actions in seeking to prosecute Dr. George Tiller (who was later acquitted of all charges) is slowly moving forward. The Associated Press reports:

Attorneys for former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline maintain in a filing released Thursday that he didn’t commit ethical misconduct in his investigation of abortion providers.

The filing was in response to an ethics complaint against Kline filed in January by the Board for Discipline of Attorneys. He’s accused of making false statements and allowing subordinates to mislead the Kansas Supreme Court and other officials during an investigation of the late Dr. George Tiller and Planned Parenthood’s Overland Park clinic.

Kline’s hearing has been delayed until Nov. 15 at his attorneys’ request. The attorney discipline board has filed complaints against Eric Rucker and Stephen D. Maxwell, two Kline assistants who worked on the abortion prosecution. Rucker’s hearing is set for May 11, while Maxwell’s has been indefinitely delayed.

Lastly Newsweek, after publishing a story that asked “How can the next generation defend abortion rights when they don’t think abortion rights need defending?” has come back for round two. (You can read responses that RH RealityCheck published to that story here.)

In their follow-up article Newsweek gets together Nancy Keenan of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Erin Matson of National Organization for Women, Edith Sargon of Choice USA, as well as RH RealityCheck writer Amanda Marcotte, Sarah Erdreich, and Meg Massey, blogger at Feminism 2.0.

We invited leaders from established pro-choice groups, newer organizations, and prominent online voices to continue that conversation together. Over the course of two days, they discussed the issues raised by the article over e-mail.

Bonus item: The Georgia abortion bill, which conservatives were hoping would set up a constitutional challenge to Roe v. Wade, and would have criminalized abortions performed under “coercion” or due to the race or gender of the fetus was not passed this session.

April 30, 2010

Kan. House to consider override of abortion veto NTV

Historic life-saving initiatives sidetracked by abortion debate Vancouver Sun

Hillary Clinton’s abortion grenade Washington Post

Kenyan church leaders vow to campaign against draft constitution over abortion Los Angeles Times

Our Views: Abortion bill goes too far 2TheAdvocate

FDA approves prostate cancer vaccine USA Today

Bill would require teaching sex ed in Pa. schools York Daily Record

The Abortion Fight at Ground Zero The Crime Report

Virginia’s new abortion restrictions could save state more than $150000 Washington Post (blog)

DC mayor apologizes for award to leader of ex-gay movement Washington Post

Lack of Access to Contraception, Abortion Persist Inter Press Service

Anti-Hyde Pushback Sparked by Health Care Battle Women’s eNews

For some birthing families, there no place like HOME Grand Junction Free Press

Please Tell Me About Your Birth Control Blog… About.com: Health

April 29, 2010

The Future of the Abortion-Rights Movement Newsweek

Clinics To Face New Abortion Law KOCO Oklahoma City

Male-Dominated Senate Passes Abortion Bill to House Sunshine State News

Proposed Law in Mexico Would Send Doctors Who Don’t Suggest Abortion to Jail FOXNews 

Gun bill passes, consolidation, abortion bills fail in Legislature’s final hour Macon Telegraph

Kenya: Women’s Rights and Constitution – Challenging ‘Men of Faith’ AllAfrica.com

Submarine crews ready for women, gay men, lesbians, and a smoking ban Washington Post 

Prop. 8 Case’s Closing Arguments Finally Scheduled Village Voice (blog)

Why sex ed should stay in school parentcentral.ca

Ex-Attorney General Kline denies allegations in ethics complaint Lawrence Journal World

Questions surround abortion clinic News Sentinel

At anti-abortion benefit, Palin draws on politics, personal life to fire up crowd Austin American-Statesman

Opposing views: Under what conditions are you OK with abortion? Argonaut

Panel supports abortion clinic closure bill 2TheAdvocate 

Judge Has Record on Abortion Issue Wall Street Journal

Oklahoma Abortion Law: No Exceptions, Even Rape ABC News

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with Rachel Larris please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.