Politics & Government

Florida House debates ultrasound before abortion proposal

A measure that would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound exam and have the option to view the scan was revived Wednesday, after the state Senate rejected a similar proposal last year in a dramatic 20-20 tie vote.

Following more than an hour of debate, the House Health Care Regulation Policy Committee cast a party-line vote in favor of the bill, with Republican supporters saying the ultrasound provision helps women make informed medical decisions and helps doctors prevent complications.

"I think that any time that anybody has more information when they're going in for a medical procedure I think that's a good thing," said Rep. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican who is sponsoring the bill along with Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Brandon.

Opponents argue the provision is a veiled effort to create an added hurdle for women. They say doctors – not the Legislature – should make the decision to perform an ultrasound.

"I think that this is a very difficult decision that women make and we should not continue to put hurdles up and chip away at current law," said Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, who voted against the bill along with Rep. Ari Porth, a Coral Springs Democrat.

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