[UPDATE] Abortions vs. Jobs: Where Does The Priority Lie For Florida's Politicians?

By: Whitney Ray; AP Email
By: Whitney Ray; AP Email

[UPDATE] 4-28 10:45am - TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) --

The Florida Senate has approved a proposed state constitutional amendment and a bill to ban abortion funding with public and insurance exchange dollars.

The largely party line votes in the Republican-controlled Senate
on Wednesday sent both House-passed measures back to that chamber with some changes.

The amendment (HJR 1179) passed with 27 favorable votes -- the
minimum needed to put it on the 2012 ballot. It would ban public
funding -- already prohibited by federal law -- and exempt abortion
from the Florida Constitution's strong privacy right.

The bill (HR 79) would exclude abortion coverage from policies
obtained through insurance exchanges states must set up in 2014
under the federal health care overhaul.

Both include exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the
mother's life, but not her health.


Senate Democratic Women Denounce Government Encroachment Into Personal Freedom:

TALLAHASSEE – Led by Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich (D-Weston), united female members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Thursday denounced Republican attempts to force government into the personal lives of women throughout Florida.

“Our government exists to protect our safety, our liberties, and our freedoms,” said Sen. Rich. “It has no business peeking into our doctor’s offices or our private business to control our right to choose.”

Joining Sen. Rich in opposition were Senate Democratic Leader Pro Tem Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa), Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood), Sen. Gwen Margolis (D-Miami) and Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Delray). “These measures are directly aimed at chiseling away at rights women are not only due, but legally protected by the nation’s highest court,” said Sen. Sachs. “They neither address the critical issues of our times, especially our high unemployment, nor do they create a single job. It’s a case of since we can’t fix the economy, we’ll divert your attention by meddling in your private affairs.”

At issue is the current onslaught of anti-choice legislation backed by conservative Republicans currently awaiting legislative action in the Senate. Many of the measures - from forcing women to pay for and view or have described to them, ultrasounds in the first trimester, to forbidding women access to private health insurance policies which include abortion coverage – directly interject government bureaucrats into personal decisions and private lives.

“It’s disheartening that the same energy Republicans dedicated to advancing a narrow ideological agenda wasn’t harnessed for a broader one targeting the devastating economic problems facing Florida,” said Sen. Rich. “They’ve offered 18 anti-choice bills to control our lives, but not a single job-producing bill guaranteed to better them.”


Florida's unemployment rate is 11 percent; a million people are out of work and the state has a $4 billion dollar budget deficit.

However, those issues were on hold as the Statehouse spent hours discussing abortion.

The only House lawmakers focused on jobs Wednesday, were Democrats. However, Republicans said the effort to defend life deserves some attention too.

Fired up and frustrated over anti-abortion legislation, the women of the House Democratic Caucus decried bills that would make it harder to get an abortion in Florida.

"After several minutes of heavy breathing by the man, a woman has nine months to carry that child."

Seventeen bills have been filed that would continue to keep tax money from paying for abortions, require ultrasounds before the procedure and shutdown abortion clinics not owned by a physician.

The bills come as GOP lawmakers promise to fill the $4 billion dollar budget gap and create jobs for the state's one million unemployed.

"We keep hearing about 700,000 jobs in seven years; where are the plans?"

Wednesday, nine bills were up for a vote in the House. Six were anti-abortion bills. Not one of them creates jobs.

We asked Representative Matt Gaetz if the House should be more focused on jobs. "Well I don't think the abortion bills per say are intended to create jobs. I think they are intended to recognize the fact that nothing is more fundamental than life."

We asked Governor Rick Scott the same thing. "I'm convinced that when we finish session, we've got nine days, 10 days to go; we will get the bills passed that will help get our economy going again."

On the House Floor, Republicans defended using one of the 60 days of session on abortion.

"We're spending 58 or 59 days of this session talking about session and school funding."

However, for at least one day when it came to creating jobs and limiting government, Democrats were the only ones talking

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  • by truth Location: fl on Apr 28, 2011 at 01:08 PM
    good job passing this bill they need to pay their own bills
  • by Bubba on Apr 28, 2011 at 09:45 AM
    The tyranical conservative legislature and their rubber stamping criminal governor haven't done a single thing to produce jobs in this state. What they have found time for is total dedication to the realization of their ultra-right wing social agenda. All along having the nerve to complain about "big government." There sit men and women with no honor.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:22 PM in reply to Bubba
      Glad to see the Legislature doing this and knowing we have a real Republican Governor who will sign the laws unlike the flip flop tan man.
  • by Beth on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:46 AM
    Keep big government out of my body
  • by Robert Location: Crawfordville on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:33 AM
    The GOP have super-majorities in both houses. It's called placating the base. Politics 101 people. I also find it funny how Democrats consistently whine about jobs when they are in the minority, yet when they hold majorities as shown at the federal level recently, they introduce legislation designed solely to placate THEIR base (repeal of DADT, Health care legislation, etc). Now that there is a situation where the Republicans control, all of a sudden they cry foul. And what a surprise that the by-the-book whiny defenses are now coming out. The GOP "hates women" and all the Dems now care about is "personal liberty". Yet the Democrats want to intervene in private health care and meddle in private small business affairs. Where is the personal liberty there? Lastly, if the GOP "hates" women then kindly explain why out of the six female governors in the U.S., FOUR of them belong to the GOP?
  • by Rey Santos Location: Tallahassee on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:33 AM
    Abortion may save more lives, and reduce crime: Donohue and Levitt point to the fact that males aged 18 to 24 are most likely to commit crimes. Data indicates that crime in the United States started to decline in 1992. Donohue and Levitt suggest that the absence of unwanted aborted children, following legalization in 1973, led to a reduction in crime 18 years later, starting in 1992 and dropping sharply in 1995. These would have been the peak crime-committing years of the unborn children. The authors argue that states that had abortion legalized earlier and more widespread should have the earliest reductions in crime. Donohue and Levitt's study indicates that this indeed has happened: Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York, and Washington experienced steeper drops in crime, and had legalized abortion before Roe v. Wade. Further, states with a high abortion rate have experienced a greater reduction in crime, when corrected for factors like average income. Finally, studies in Canada and Australia purport to have established a correlation between legalized abortion and overall crime reduction.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM in reply to Rey Santos
      So, a preemptive strike! Kill off babies before they can grow up to be criminals - just like Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood to eliminate reproduction of those undesirables.
  • by The Original Bob Location: Perry on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:32 AM
    Joining Sen. Rich in opposition were Senate Democratic Leader Pro Tem Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa), Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood), Sen. Gwen Margolis (D-Miami) and Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Delray). “These measures are directly aimed at chiseling away at rights women are not only due, but legally protected by the nation’s highest court,” said Sen. Sachs. “They neither address the critical issues of our times, especially our high unemployment, nor do they create a single job. It’s a case of since we can’t fix the economy, we’ll divert your attention by meddling in your private affairs.” Sounds like Obamacare, except this bill would save the most helpless Americans of all, those still in the womb.
  • by Tally Location: Tally on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:27 AM
    Obviously their priority lie with banning abortion funding.
  • by wakeup Location: tallahassee on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:07 AM
    first of all I appreciate and am thankful that their priority was on the unborn babies......but aside from that, do you not get that our tax money is what they are looking at.........if we stop funding abortion our deficit will be reduced if not eliminated......so while the six anti-abortion bills that were passed may not have created jobs........THEY SAVED LIVES and they reduced the deficit which means that they saved jobs because the budget will not have to be cut (i.e. jobs eliminated) in order to have a balanced budget......open your eyes
    • reply
      by beth on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:42 AM in reply to wakeup
      When was the last time you donated time or money to unwed mothers for the care of their children?....oh yeah your tax money....well well
      • reply
        by WakeUp on Apr 28, 2011 at 09:31 AM in reply to beth
        beth, obviously you do not know me or you would know that I do donate both time and money not just to unwed mothers but to unwanted babies.......but you hit the nail on the head....it was a donation, which means i made the choice.....i was not forced to as a taxpayer.....how would you like it if your taxmoney was used to support a religious organization?????
    • reply
      by wakeup on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:48 AM in reply to wakeup
      and for those of you that don't read beyond the title....they are not voting on taking this right away from those that choose to kill their baby.....they are just stopping the government from paying for it.....so if you want less government involvement, you now have it
    • reply
      by read on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:50 AM in reply to wakeup
      Abortions aren't publicly funded now, so how will these bills reduce the deficit?
      • reply
        by WakeUp on Apr 28, 2011 at 09:26 AM in reply to read
        oh you poor deceived soul......Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, performing (and profiting from) one out of every four abortions in the United States (taken straight from their annual report). In 2009, abortion was a “service” that Planned Parenthood provided to 97.6 % of its patients who reported themselves pregnant. They perform an average of 910 abortions each and every day. Since the average cost of an early surgical abortion was $451, abortion accounted for approximately 37 percent of Planned Parenthood’s health-care-center income in 2009. And that figure is a low estimate, considering that Planned Parenthood also performs later and more expensive abortions.
        • reply
          by research on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:14 AM in reply to WakeUp
          I will say again, abortions are not publicly funded. Planned Parenthood abortions are paid for by the patient or third parties. Also, where are you getting your facts? I have read that only 10% of services provided at PP are abortion related.
  • by Rey Santos Location: Tallahassee on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:01 AM
    They don't hate women, they just want to control them and if they can't they take them out and drop them in the middle of the ocean... if they swim then they must be witches and killed, if they sink and drown then they become angels in heaven. Hi I'm with the government and I am here to help you! Just another lie....
  • by Tired of Politicians Location: State of Insanity on Apr 28, 2011 at 07:55 AM
    Most Republicans only care about themselves!
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