Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sen. Dan Webster backs bill requiring preabortion ultrasound

TALLAHASSEE — Women would be required to get ultrasounds before having abortions under an antiabortion proposal that gained a powerful ally in the Florida Senate on Thursday.

Republican Sen. Dan Webster, the Senate majority leader, signed on as sponsor for the measure during the 2008 legislative session, which begins Tuesday. A similar measure requiring ultrasounds for abortions passed the Republican-controlled House last year along party lines, but was not debated in the Senate.

Webster's bill would require women to have the test, which uses high-frequency waves to produce images of internal organs, including a fetus. It would also require doctors to "allow the woman to view the live ultrasound images" unless she's a victim of rape, incest or human trafficking. Under the bill, a woman could decline seeing the ultrasound image by signing a form.

Tampa Republican Rep. Trey Traviesa has a similar measure before the House this year.

"It's important legislation, because we want fewer abortions," said Traviesa, who is close to House leadership. "Everyone agrees there needs to be fewer of them."

Webster, a consistent social conservative, could not be reached Thursday. A former House speaker, he has served in the Legislature for decades and is among its most respected members for a professionalism that enables him to work across party lines despite philosophical differences. This is his last year in the Senate due to term limits.

Critics say the ultrasound bill injects fear into doctor-patient relationships and pushes government into micromanaging medical care, as lawmakers did in the Terri Schiavo case, where a feeding tube was removed from a woman in a vegetative state.

"This is legislating medicine, which isn't the job of legislators," said Adrienne Kimmell, executive director of Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. "It creates barriers and ties the hands of doctors to do what they think is in the best medical interests of patients."

Traviesa's House bill would also require ultrasounds for abortion, but goes much further, including making women wait for 24 hours to get an abortion. It also opens the door for more lawsuits, by giving parents who aren't notified of their teenage daughter's abortion the right to sue for psychological damages and allowing patients to sue doctors in cases of injury or death.

Sen. Dan Webster backs bill requiring preabortion ultrasound 02/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, February 28, 2008 11:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The next step in a sex abuse survivor's recovery: Erasing her tattoo

    Health

    Times Staff Writer

    TAMPA — Even after 20 years, Sufiyah can't escape the memories of being sexually exploited by gang members as a teenager.

    The tattoo makes it impossible.

    Sufiyah, an aAbuse survivor, prepares to have a tattoo removed  at Tampa Tattoo Vanish  on Thursday. During her teen years, she was sexually exploited by a gang. The tattoo is a mark of her exploiters. 

Tampa Tattoo Vanish is a new tattoo removal business run by Brian Morrison, where survivors of human trafficking get free tattoo removal.  [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  2. Cridlin: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington had a wail that stood apart

    Music & Concerts

    For all the old-timers' talk about how they don't make singers like they used to, about how rock vocalists of the 21st century can't hold a candle to the frontmen of yesteryear, here's a fact no hater could deny:

    Chester Bennington could flat-out wail.

    Chester Bennington of Linkin Park  performs at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for the 2014 Carnivores Tour. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Police investigating shooting in north Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Police were investigating a shooting in north Tampa Thursday that left one person seriously injured.

  4. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board

    Retail

    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  5. Team begins work to exhume Salvador Dali's body for paternity test

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — A forensic team on Thursday entered the Salvador Dali museum in northeastern Spain where the surrealist artist's remains are due to be exhumed to settle a paternity claim brought by a 61- year-old woman.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. Work has begun to exhume his body for a parternity test. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]