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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Abortion bill passes 1st House stop



Tampa Rep. Trey Traviesa's abortion bill just cleared its first of two House stops on a partisan vote.

HB 257 requires that pregnant women in all trimesters get ultrasounds to determine the fetus' age, not just in the second and third as now required. A woman could waive the ultrasound.

Also, the courts would have to provide a guardian ad litem to determine whether a minor seeking an abortion is mature enough to make the decision without parental consent.

Rep. Bill Galvano, a Republican like Traviesa, removed a controversial provision that would have required a 24-hour wait period and created a "Woman's Reproductive Bill of Rights." The change aligns the House bill with its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden.

Traviesa said he is just trying to improve women's health by correcting "deficiencies" in the existing state law.

"These decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor," said Democratic Rep. Kelly Skidmore, among the Democrats to vote no. "This bill does nothing to improve the health of women."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:19pm]


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