In an exclusive interview with Florida Baptist Witness, Gov. Rick Scott briefly discussed the public reaction to the state legislature’s passage of five bills aimed at restricting abortion rights in Florida. All five bills still await his signature.
According to the Witness, “Scott said he was not persuaded by criticism that the pro-life measures are a distraction at a time when the Legislature should focus on job creation.”
Even Scott’s fellow Republicans have argued that anti-abortion rights measures stoke the spotlight during the recently-ended legislative session. During the debate over a mandatory ultrasound bill, Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Daytona Beach, said the legislature was spending too much time on bills aimed at restricting women’s rights and too little time-saving Florida’s flailing economy.
“I came up here this year not to tell you what to do with your bodies, not to tell you what your religious beliefs should be, not tell you what your sense of values should be,” she said. “You know why I really came up here this year? I came up here to help people put food on their table. I came up here to get people jobs.”
In his interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, Scott said he remained unmoved by such criticism.
“It doesn’t change the fact that I’m pro-life and that’s how I’m going to govern,” he said, adding, “clearly, the economy is important [and] we need jobs.”
Scott’s position remains unchanged since his time on the campaign trail last year when he said he would be a “pro-life governor.” According to The Miami Herald, Scott has said that he will sign the bills.
But despite Scott’s unwavering stance on anti-abortion rights, NARAL– a pro-abortion rights group– has been circulating a campaign calling on Scott to “veto the war on women.”
NARAL warns that Scott is “preparing to sign into law one of the most divisive social-policy agendas of the 2011 legislative session” and that “the decisions made at the state level [will] affect millions of women and their families.”