The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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NARAL Pro-Choice America Applauds Pro-Choice Victory for Florida Women

Bowing to pressure from pro-choice state lawmakers and voters, Crist vetoes divisive legislation


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called Gov.
Charlie Crist's veto of an anti-choice bill a victory for Florida

In late April, extremist anti-choice Florida legislators amended
H.B.1143, which previously had no relevance to reproductive rights, to
insert dangerous attacks on women's right to privacy. The bill contains
an abortion-coverage ban and a mandatory-ultrasound requirement. Crist
vetoed the bill today.

"Gov. Charlie Crist did the right thing by listening to the
pro-choice majority in Florida and vetoing this anti-choice bill that
the state legislature rammed through at the last minute," Keenan said.
"Floridians, like most Americans, are tired of lawmakers using women's
reproductive health as a bargaining chip. It's time for politicians to
stop interfering in the doctor-patient relationship."

NARAL Pro-Choice America mobilized activists in Florida, sending
more than 1,200 messages to Gov. Crist urging him to veto this
unprecedented anti-choice legislation.

Keenan offered a special word of thanks to Rep. Kendrick Meek, who
called on Crist to reject the anti-choice bill and organized his
supporters to pressure the governor to veto the bill. "We need more
elected officials like Rep. Meek, who consistently do the right thing
when it comes to women's health. We know he'll take that commitment to
the Senate."

If enacted, the Florida bill would have undermined women's health and privacy in the following ways:

  • It would have prohibited insurers from offering comprehensive
    coverage that includes abortion to most customers in the new
    health-insurance exchange. It would not have even had an adequate
    exception for cases in which the woman's health is endangered.
  • It would have forced women to undergo an ultrasound before receiving abortion care, even when it is not medically necessary.
  • It would have required the provider to describe the ultrasound images to the woman even if she asked not to view them.

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.