Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Antiabortion bill blocked in Senate

TALLAHASSEE — A wide-ranging antiabortion bill that stirred controversy in the House last week was blocked by the Senate on Monday when a bipartisan coalition prevented the bill from being heard on the Senate floor.

"The public is calling and screaming, pleading with us to concentrate on bills that give us jobs, put food on our table and lower our cost of living," said Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, one of six Republicans to join with Democrats to stop the bill from being heard.

The bill, SB 290, would have created a 24-hour waiting period for abortions and required that new abortion clinics be owned by physicians. Physicians also would have been required to take three hours of unspecified ethics training, among other provisions.

Senators were able to block the bill from being heard because it had not passed the committees to which it was assigned. Senate rules require a two-thirds vote of the present members to bypass the committee structure.

Senators voted 23-16 to hear the antiabortion bill, short of the 26 votes necessary.

Democrats were joined by six Republicans in voting against hearing the bill: Lynn and Sens. Paula Dockery, Nancy Detert, Dennis Jones, Charlie Dean and Mike Bennett.

One Democrat voted to consider the measure: Sen. Gary Siplin of Orlando. Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, was ill and did not vote.

Another 23 bills were withdrawn from committees without controversy, including a proposal that would ban courts from using religious or foreign law in legal decisions. Rules Chairman Sen. John Thrasher said he tried to bring the antiabortion bill to the floor at the request of sponsor Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, which is not unusual.

He suggested that Senate President Mike Haridopolos may call for a special meeting of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, where the antiabortion bill was to receive its next hearing.

But with just days left until the session is scheduled to conclude on Friday, that's unlikely.

"I think that vote expressed where they're at," Haridopolos said of senators.

Last Friday, senators blocked another bill — one that would allow parents at low-performing schools to demand sweeping changes, including having the school converted into a charter school — from bypassing its committee stops and heading straight to the floor.

Republican leaders countered by holding a special Senate Budget Committee meeting, where the bill, SB 1718, passed so that it could be heard by the entire Senate.

Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau staff writer Tia Mitchell contributed to this report.

Antiabortion bill blocked in Senate 03/05/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 5, 2012 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.