President Office — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2016
Senate Passes Legislation to Safeguard Women’s Health and Guard Against Taxpayer Funded Abortion
HB 1411 enhances protections governing fetal remains, requires availability of advanced medical treatment for mothers, improves medical standards at abortion clinics
The Florida Senate today passed House Bill 1411, Termination of Pregnancies, by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland). The legislation protects vulnerable women by ensuring abortion clinics and the practitioners who perform elective abortion procedures are held to the same medical standards as other facilities where outpatient surgery is performed.
“Over the last several years, we have seen a significant decrease in the number of abortions in our state. Unfortunately, the numbers tell us that we, not as a government, but as a society, still have a long way to go to change hearts and reform a culture that leads vulnerable women to terminate their pregnancies,” said Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando). “Often portrayed as minor and inconsequential, the abortion procedure itself is akin to outpatient surgery, yet the same state oversight that governs our surgery centers and hospitals does not currently apply to abortion clinics. This bill makes that important change to ensure that if a woman suffers complications following an abortion, she can be readily transferred to a hospital where she can receive the appropriate medical treatment.”
“In recent months, we have seen too many troubling images of human remains carelessly discarded following abortion procedures and we need to take the appropriate steps to make sure these horrific activities do not occur in Florida,” said Senator Stargel. “Furthermore, low-income women should not have to go to an abortion clinic for routine medical care. This legislation makes certain that our limited taxpayer dollars are not being used to support organizations that provide elective abortions. Instead, our budget increases funding for crisis pregnancy support centers that provide routine primary care for vulnerable, low-income women in need of these critical health care services.”
Safeguards Women’s Health
The legislation more clearly defines the terms “gestation,” “first trimester,” “second trimester,” and “third trimester.” To ensure availability of advanced medical treatment for mothers and align safety precautions governing abortion clinics with those of state regulated ambulatory surgery centers, clinics that perform first and second trimester abortions must have a written patient transfer agreement with a local hospital so that all physicians who perform abortions can provide the appropriate medical treatment if needed.
Guards Against Taxpayer Funded Abortion
The legislation enhances the current prohibition against taxpayer dollars being used to fund elective abortions by prohibiting state agencies, local governmental entities, and Medicaid managed care plans from contracting with, or expending funds for the benefit of, an organization that owns, operates, or is affiliated with facilities that perform elective abortions.
Enhances Protections Governing Fetal Remains
HB 1411 extends the current prohibition against the sale and donation of fetal remains from an abortion by specifying limits on any disposal of fetal remains and increases penalties for the improper disposal.
Improves Medical Standards at Abortion Clinics
Under the bill, Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) would perform annual licensure inspections of abortion clinics, inspect at least 50 percent of abortion clinic records during a license inspection, and promptly investigate all credible allegations of unlicensed abortions being performed. Entities that refer women for abortion procedures would be required to register with AHCA.
Additionally, AHCA would collect certain data from facilities in which abortions are performed and submit the data to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency would also submit an annual report to the Legislature summarizing regulatory actions taken as it relates to the oversight of facilities that perform abortions.
For more information on HB 1411, please visit www.FLSenate.gov.
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