Florida Passes Abortion Law Similar to Texas Law Challenged at SCOTUS
Texas pro-life law inspires another state, but what happens if SCOTUS overturns it?
On Thursday, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that would cut off state funding to abortion provider Planned Parenthood and increases the safety requirements for abortion clinics. The bill was cheered by pro-life activists across the country and also brings added importance to a case pending before the United States Supreme Court.
The bill, HB 1411, contains provisions similar to those in the Texas abortion law currently being challenged before the Supreme Court, requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The Florida law also mandates annual inspections for abortion clinics, including a review of at least 50 percent of their records, in order to have their licenses renewed.
Abortion clinics must meet same safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers
As I noted in a previous post for Legal Insurrection on the Texas case, pro-life lawmakers across the country were motivated to take action by the horrific evidence in the murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.
Laws like Texas’ HB 2 were passed in multiple states after gruesome details came to light in the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. Evidence presented at Gosnell’s trial included shocking descriptions of babies born alive and killed by cutting their spines with surgical scissors, botched procedures, failure to properly summon emergency help when needed, bodies and body parts of aborted babies improperly stored, significant sanitation and safety violations, among other horrors.
When legislators around the country started investigating abortion clinics in their own states, they found a disturbing lack of inspections and safeguards that many feared could lead to future tragedies like Gosnell’s clinic. The 2009 death of a woman undergoing an abortion by Gosnell had not originally been added to his file with the Pennsylvania Department of Health or triggered any investigations.
In the Texas case, the abortion providers argue that they are looking out for women’s health, strangely by arguing that they should not have to meet higher safety standards.
Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, one of the bill’s sponsors in the Florida Senate, told the Palm Beach Post that the bill’s safety requirements are similar to other standards for outpatient care centers, such as those that perform colonoscopies or liposuction.
“It’s not a bill restricting a woman’s right to choose,” said Stargel. “It’s not a bill stopping abortion. It’s a bill that assures a woman…is getting the same level of care.”
What will SCOTUS do?
As I noted in the discussion of the Texas case, the Supreme Court now only has eight members after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative stalwart and one of the most reliably pro-life members of the Court. Because the safety regulations of Florida’s HB 1411 are so similar to the Texas law — in fact, the Florida legislators supporting the bill said they were inspired by the Texas bill — any decision by the Court about the constitutionality of the Texas law will most certainly have an impact in Florida.
Still, despite Scalia’s absence, all hope is not lost for pro-lifers. A 4-4 tie would result in allowing the Fifth Circuit’s decision to stand, which upheld the Texas law. Additionally, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Court’s swing vote, seemed to indicate he was leaning towards remanding the case back to the lower court for more evidence instead of overturning the law:
However, there are signs that the entire matter might end up punted down the road. Kennedy’s questions during oral arguments about how many clinics would be likely to close and whether the remaining clinics would be able to handle the additional capacity touched on some factual issues that are not yet determined. Kennedy suggested that the case could be sent back to the lower court in order for the attorneys on both sides to present evidence on this issue.
Other pro-life victories
In addition to the new safety requirements, HB 1411 also ends Title X family planning service contracts with Planned Parenthood and prohibits the state from entering into Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood or any other abortion provider that provides elective abortions. In several states that do not provide direct funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider has nonetheless received significant taxpayer funding through Medicaid contracts.
Florida has passed other pro-life legislation in recent years, including shortening the time period in which an abortion would be legal and allowing separate criminal charges to be brought for the death of a fetus at any stage of development when a crime was committed against its mother.
Gov. Scott also signed a bill this year requiring women to wait 24 hours and make a second trip to a clinic before having an abortion. That law was held up by a court order, but the Florida First District Court of Appeals overturned that court order just a few weeks ago. The ACLU has vowed to appeal.
[Featured Image: Fox35 Orlando]
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The pro-abortion zealots screech incessantly that Planned Parenthood clinics are about “Women’s Health.”
But the statistics tell us that approximately 977,000 abortions are performed yearly in the United States, and that in about 2% of the cases complications occur, such as a perforated uterus, which require emergency medical care. So we know, because SCIENCE, that approximately 20,000 women’s lives are put at risk annually if these facilities are not compliant with the Texas and Florida style laws.
So what happened to their concern about “Women’s Health?”
Your argument makes perfect sense.
But, one could always argue it the liberal way … or, things I have learned from liberals attacking liberals …
These days, it depends on what your definition of “women” is.
That is too, of course, the fact that your definition must not qualify as a microagression too when discussing “women’s health” ( or is that “womyns health”)
Let’s be honest here. When it comes to women, can you think of any organization more intolerant of the trans community than Planned Parenthood.
They abort the children the trans mothers can’t have themselves. Think of poor Caitlyn and her health!
A key legal point: per Roe, a state can’t restrict abortion but so much in the first 24 weeks, and then only when there is a compelling interest.
Whatever your thoughts are on abortion (and I’m pro-life), if one goes at this to say, “any woman having an abortion will do so in an outpatient surgicenter that meets the health and safety requirements that the state has for any other outpatient surgicenter”, that position is a winner. The courts can (and should) uphold such a law, as it is neutral — all outpatient surgicenters have to meet health and safety requirements.
HOWEVER: if you try to use this law to close abortion centers, you’ll lose every time. The courts will hold that such a law exceeds the ‘narrowly tailored interest’ the state has in health and safety.
THE KEY: don’t mention abortion in the law, other than in one paragraph. ALL outpatient surgicenters, no matter what procedures they do as specified in that one paragraph, meet the law for health and safety. That one paragraph is a long, long list of any medical and surgical procedure that might be done in an outpatient setting.
So the key is to frame the law as neutrally as possible. Don’t make it about abortion, make it about health and safety of women. Texas was right at the edge of this. Not sure about Florida, will have to read in more detail.
Unfortunately, you’re right. The state-established pro-choice cult defends the rights of people with a sincere faith in emanations from a penumbra (i.e. “gods”) and a religion or moral philosophy pulled from its darkest fringes that establishes human life is a product of spontaneous conception. It protects the barbaric practices of abortion rites (e.g. reactive parenthood), cannibalistic trials (e.g. Planned Parenthood), and generally corruption of science, violation of human rights, and debasement of human life.
Committing and contracting for premeditated murder of wholly innocent human life at a uniquely vulnerable stage in human evolution is an unalienable right and rite in liberal societies.
They disarm, decapitate, and administer a lethal injection. Then they progress to harvesting and redistributing its organs, clumps of cells, and other profitable parts.
I wonder if this is why the pro-choice cult is obsessed with nullifying the Second Amendment. Don’t be a victim.
The pro-choice cult is not only trying to harm women, and silence their babies, but also seems stubbornly reactive to reducing risk suffered by women who are brainwashed to undergo clinical abortion and harvesting/Planning procedures.
Dreams of a “final solution”, led by Dr. Gosnell and #CecileTheCannibal.
It only makes sense that the same health and safety standards put in place to protect a patient getting fat suctioned out of her thighs should similarly apply to a patient getting a baby suctioned out of her uterus.
In a sane would, this wouldn’t even be controversial.
“but what happens if SCOTUS overturns it?”
Then the Florida Governor says, “We thank the Court for its opinion, but we respectfully refuse to condone state sanctioned deprivation of due process rights to the unborn and facilitate their murder simply because of personal ‘choice.’ If the Court disagrees, then enforce your opinion”
I work for a house Rep. here in Florida and while the emails and calls from mainly angry pro abortion women, the opposition to this hill on the house floor by democrats were somewhat subdued. Possibly because a bill like this makes sense. Who would argue with the premise that women should have safe and clean abortions. As of now here in Florida you can get an abortion in a dirty clinic. What women who is going to have an abortion wants to be in a clinic that would pass in a third world country as clean?
It’s a given that the pro-choice cult and its abortionists and planners do not want to save the life of a child, but to avoid mitigating risk to her mother is at minimum bigoted, and at most unconscionable. And with increased revenue under Obamacare, there is simply no excuse for contracting with a Dr. Gosnell to terminate a human life and endanger her mother. Although, in order for Planned Parenthood et al to secure the choicest clumps of human cells, there is an unavoidable risk to mothers that cannot be reduced through humane medical care.