Fla. Senate Rejects Bill To Mandate Waiting Period, Restrictions on Abortion Providers

March 7, 2012 — The Florida Senate on Monday blocked debate on a bill (SB 290) that would have mandated a 24-hour waiting period before abortion care and imposed new regulations on abortion providers, the Miami Herald reports (Sanders/Klas, Miami Herald, 3/5). A vote to bring the measure to the floor failed 23-16, meaning that the bill will not be available for further debate (Peltier, Reuters, 3/5).

The bill would have required that new abortion clinics be owned by physicians, who would have had to undergo three hours of ethics training (Miami Herald, 3/5). According to Reuters, the bill was similar to a House-approved measure (HB 277) that would mandate a 24-hour waiting period and require doctors to tell women seeking abortion care that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks of gestation, a notion that is disputed by the scientific community (Reuters, 3/5).

The Herald reports that Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) could call a special meeting of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee to discuss the bill, but with only a few days left until the end of the session, that is unlikely (Miami Herald, 3/5).