The Florida Commission on the Status of Women tells The Florida Independent that its “2011 Summary of Florida Laws Affecting Women and Families” report will be revised to include the anti-abortion bills that were absent in a previous incarnation.
Kelly Sciba, the executive director of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, says “the bills in questions were on our interest list as you can see on our website, but were inadvertently left out of the published report when it was compiled, along with CS/HB 1085 Women’s Health dealing with Ovarian Cancer.”
“The report has been revised to included the omitted bills and can found on our website,” she says.
The updated report (.pdf) now includes a summary of House Bills 97, 1127, 1179, 1247 and 501. The previous version of the report made no mention of those bills.
According to the report:
H.B. 97 “prohibits any individual, group, or out-of-state group health insurance policy or health maintenance contract, purchased with any amount of state or federal funds through an exchange, from providing coverage for an abortion unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest or in cases where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life- endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death.
“Except in a medical emergency, [H.B. 1127] provides that consent to a termination of pregnancy is voluntary and informed if, among other things, a woman seeking an abortion has the gestational age of the fetus verified by an ultrasound, regardless of the woman’s stage of pregnancy. The bill prescribes who is authorized to perform the ultrasound.”
H.B. 1179 “is a joint resolution proposing the creation of s. 28, Art. I of the Florida Constitution to prohibit public funds from being expended for any abortion or for health-benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion. However, public funds may be expended when required by federal law; a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness which would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death; or a pregnancy results from rape or incest.”
H.B. 1247 “amends s. 390.01114, F.S., relating to parental notification of an abortion to be performed on a minor.”
H.B. 501 “directs the distribution of funds from the sale of “Choose Life” license plates to Choose Life, Inc. • Choose Life, Inc., will distribute funds to participating nongovernmental, not-for-profit agencies within the State of Florida that assist pregnant women who are making an adoption plan for their children.”
The Florida Commission on the Status of Women describes itself as a “nonpartisan board.” The governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president of Senate and the attorney general appoint four members; the Chief Financial Officer and commissioner of agriculture appoint three each.
According to the Commission’s website, the organization’s “mandate is to study and make recommendations to the Governor, Cabinet and Legislature on issues affecting women. These recommendations are presented in the form of an annual report that is distributed in the first quarter of each year.”