***Fact Sheet on HB 1143***Providing Women the Opportunity to Make an Informed Choice and Protecting Taxpayer Dollars from Being Used to Fund Elective Abortions
Fact Sheet on HB 1143
Providing Women the Opportunity to Make an Informed Choice and Protecting Taxpayer Dollars from Being Used to Fund Elective Abortions
This legislation will provide women the opportunity to view their ultrasound before undergoing an abortion if they choose to. The bill does not force a woman to view her ultrasound nor listen to an oral description of it. The woman can decline this opportunity by simply signing a form.
Section 390.0111 of the bill, line 512 states: The woman has a right to decline to view the ultrasound images after she is informed of her right and offered an opportunity to view them. If the woman declines to view the ultrasound images, the woman shall complete a form, as determined by department rule, acknowledging that she was offered an opportunity to view her ultrasound but that she rejected that opportunity.
Florida law already requires that a woman be informed of the gestational age of the fetus before she undergoes an abortion. This legislation would continue this practice but require that the provider verify the gestational age through an ultrasound. The gestational age is the only ultrasound information the woman is required to hear. Other than the gestational age, the woman can decline to hear an explanation of the ultrasound if she chooses.
State law already requires ultrasounds for abortions performed in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of a pregnancy.
This bill does not place undue financial hardship on women seeking an abortion.
According to a Senate Staff Analysis, at least 82% of the licensed abortion providers in the state already require a woman seeking an abortion in the first trimester to have an ultrasound. In the overwhelming majority of abortion procedures, an ultrasound is already required and already part of the cost. An ultrasound prior to an abortion is a medically necessary and safety precaution for the patient. An ultrasound is routinely used by abortion providers to confirm the pregnancy, determine the gestational age of the fetus, and determine if any unusual circumstances exist such as a tubal pregnancy.
This legislation extends the long standing state and federal policy that prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to fund elective abortions.
The Federal Health Care legislation recently signed into law by President Obama allows the states the right to opt out of abortion coverage in the healthcare exchanges altogether. While not going this far, the language in HB 1143 simply extends state policy barring the use of taxpayer dollars for elective abortions.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Language:
Section 1303 (c) says “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt or otherwise have any effect on State laws regarding the prohibition of (or requirement of) coverage, funding, or procedural requirements on abortions…”
Section 1303 (a) says “A State may elect to prohibit abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an Exchange in such State if such State enacts a law to provide for such prohibition.”
According to the December 2009 Quinnipiac Poll, 72% of Americans oppose using any public money in the federal health care plan to pay for abortions.
For over three decades, the Hyde amendment (passed by the U.S. House in 1976) has governed federal funding for abortions and it has excluded elective abortions from being paid for with the use of federal funds.