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Sunday, 29 January 2012 06:03

We Won't Go Back

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Before the start of the 2012 Legislative session Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon told the South Florida Sun Sentinel “I think that the top three issues will be job creation, a responsible budget that doesn’t raise taxes and reapportionment."

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Despite Speaker Cannon's list of legislative priorities, religious anti-choice zealots in the Florida Legislature have already filed seven anti-abortion/reproductive rights bills for the 2012 session. During last year’s session 18 such bills were introduced.

House Bill 1151 sponsored by State Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, (an ordained Baptist minister) essentially outlaws all abortions in Florida. Van Zant's Bill provides an exception to save the life of the mother if she can provide certification in writing by two physicians that there is in fact a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the termination of pregnancy is necessary to prevent her death.

Van Zant's bill does not provide exceptions for rape or incest. If physicians fail to meet Van Zant's stipulations or provide abortion services in any other case including rape or incest, they would face maximum penalty of life in prison.

Other 2012 Bills filed by Florida legislators include a mandatory waiting period for women seeking an abortion, laws targeting abortion providers, and a bill that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks even if the fetus had horrendous deformities like anencephaly (no brain).

The fact that the Florida Republican House leadership deemed the anatomically correct term "uterus" inappropriate and offensive last year best illustrates their contempt for all of us who have one.

January 22nd was the 39th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision making abortion legal in the United States. We should pause to remember the dangerous lengths women had to take to end pregnancies prior to Roe v. Wade and we must vow never to return to those dark days.

Women must retain control over their bodies and their lives. The extension of government and the law into a woman's private life is unacceptable and unconstitutional. No one, including our Florida politicians has the right to make decisions for women on the basis of their own religious beliefs.

Our legislators need to focus their efforts on the economy and creating jobs, not expanding the role of government into women's personal and private lives.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 19:17
Vicki Impoco

Opinion Still Matters

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