Chipping Away

The Florida state legislature is trying to limit access to abortion under the guise of making it safer. According to the St. Petersburg Times, legislators want to impose expensive, time-wasting bureaucratic requirements on clinics that perform second-trimester abortions (about half of Florida's 60 clinics), "rules clearly written by bureaucrats, not health professionals":

The sponsors claim the rules are needed to improve safety, but there is no indication safety is a problem. More than 91,000 abortions took place last year in Florida, yet over the last 10 years there have been fewer than 75 complaints logged with the state against clinics. Only four of those were deemed valid.

As Rep. Nancy Detert, a Venice Republican, charged, if the Legislature really wanted to protect women's health it would address plastic surgery centers, not abortion clinics. "We actually have people dying from plastic surgery breast augmentation with the wrong anesthetics," Detert said during a floor debate. "Your bill targets one particular industry."

Another provision, which the Times notes is unconstitutional, would require that girls younger than 16 must notify a parent if they intend to have an abortion, even if they are victims of sexual abuse by their fathers.