TALLAHASSEE — In a surprising rejection of conservative election-year politics, the Republican-controlled state Senate on Wednesday defeated a measure requiring women to get an ultrasound exam and view the results before proceeding with an abortion.
The rare 20-20 tie vote pitted Senate Republican leader Dan Webster, who sponsored the bill, against former Senate President Jim King, a Republican who built a coalition of GOP moderates and Democrats to kill it.
Key to the bill's defeat were members of a GOP Senate coalition known as the ''Schiavo Nine,'' named for joining Democrats in 2005 to block the Legislature from intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman whose family fought over ending her life support. Seven Republicans and 13 Democrats voted against the abortion bill, creating the 20-20 tie that meant it failed. One Democrat, Sen. Gary Siplin of Orlando, voted with 19 Republicans in favor of the bill.
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