Gov. Jeb Bush signed a new law Tuesday that gives the state of Florida broader authority in regulating abortion clinics, but critics say the new rules are just another effort to restrict women’s access to abortion.
The law signed by Jeb Bush lets the state set new safety standards in clinics that provide second trimester abortions. The requirements include using sterile equipment, trained personnel, having a medical director on staff, and making sure patients get appropriate after care instructions.
Florida Rep. Anitere Flores co-sponsored the bill after hearing one woman’s story of a clinic that ignored her pleas for help when she suffered severe complications.
"She was admitted to the emergency room and had to have a hysterectomy, and she was, I think, about 20 years old, and now 10 years later she’s finally coming to grips with this and she’ll never be able to have a child," said Flores.
But abortion rights groups say the additional regulations are just part of the campaign to close clinics’ doors. Planned Parenthood’s Stephanie Grutman says if the governor really wants to stop abortion, he would support efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
"Seventy four percent of women who need access to publicly-funded family planning resources don’t have that access. The governor could fully fund that. He could insure that rape victims have access to emergency contraception," said Grutman.
Jeb Bush is against abortion, but he says this law is aimed at making abortion safer. Nonetheless, if the law causes some clinics to shut down, he’s okay with that.
This is what Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had to say: "If they can’t meet the basic level of regulation that is expected in this bill, they should close. They shouldn’t be open right now if that’s the case."
Abortion rights groups are considering whether to challenge the new law in court.
Supporters of the new law say abortion complications are more common than people realize, and they hope the new regulations will help.