Storms sounds off on abortion providers during committee passage of mandatory-ultrasound bill
In a debate over a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound first, state Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, yesterday blasted abortion providers for ignoring fetuses’ “babyhood or humanhood.”
The Florida Senate health regulation committee passed the legislation with a 7-5 vote yesterday. According to The Tampa Tribune, two Republican senators, Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, and Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, joined the Democrats in opposition to the bill. Thanks to Storms, the lines between the more conservative members of the Senate and their colleagues in the Republican Party were very clear during the bill’s debate.
The bill’s sponsor, Storms took time during debate to express the ire she holds for abortion providers when Latvala asked her to clarify a part of the bill that requires the person administering the ultrasound to “contemporaneously review and explain the live ultrasound images to the women before the woman gives informed consent to having the abortion procedure performed.”
Latvala was concerned about what exactly women seeking an abortion would be forced to hear. He asked Storms, “Could that be, ‘I see the little legs kicking. I see the heart beating’? Those kinds of things? Is that what the woman is going to have to go through here?”
That was enough to set Storms off. She made sure her colleagues knew what she thinks of abortion providers.
“Abortion providers generally don’t view the baby as a baby,” she said. “They view the baby as a fetus. They do not describe little legs and little feet. They describe the baby in very disengaged terms. I would be very surprised to hear an abortion practitioner be describing a baby that he or she is about to abort in terms of his babyhood or humanhood — but that’s a subject for debate on another day.”
The subject she is referring to is the debate over the “personhood” of the baby. The personhood movement is largely grassroots and seen as pretty radical, even by other anti-choice groups.
Storms has a history of radical behavior when it comes to the subject of reproductive rights. As a Hillsborough county commissioner in 2005, Storms eliminated funding for an educational program sponsored by Planned Parenthood. The program taught adolescents in Tampa about topics such as sexual activity, drugs, gangs and family violence.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, Storms told representatives for Planned Parenthood that “their organization is ‘prodeath from its founding.’ She told them how Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger advocated eugenics – the study of improving hereditary qualities by controlling human reproduction – as her basis for supporting abortion.”
The ultrasound bill has a provision that allows a women to opt out of the ultrasound if she is a victim of “rape, incest, domestic violence, human trafficking or if the pregnancy is a serious medical risk.” It has one more committee stop before it reaches a Senate vote — as does the House’s version of the legislation.