TALLAHASSEE – State lawmakers pushing greater control over a woman’s right to make up her own mind when it comes to her own body would have to undergo an annual ethics training under an amendment filed by Senator Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood). The restriction is one of 7 amendments the Hollywood Democrat filed to Senate Bill 290, an omnibus anti-choice bill scheduled for a vote today in the Senate Health Regulation Committee.
“These amendments defend our rights, our privacy, and our liberty,” said Sen. Sobel. “Tallahassee needs to practice what they preach and stop reaching into the personal decisions we make about our bodies. We’re quite capable of making those decisions on our own.”
Senator Sobel’s amendments would add parity to many of the provisions in SB290. The ethics requirement, for example, would apply to legislators voting on bills relating to abortions or reproduction. It mirrors a provision in SB290 which requires doctors offering abortions to complete an ethics course in order to provide the procedure. “This amendment just follows the logic of the bill. If the state is going to order additional ethics training on physicians before they can perform a procedure, it follows that the people making state laws pertaining to these procedures should receive the same education,” Sen. Sobel said.
Another amendment addresses the 24-hour waiting period women would have to undergo before receiving an abortion, and impose the same wait time before any man could receive a vasectomy or treatment related to erectile dysfunction. “When a woman makes the difficult decision to have an abortion, she can consult with her family, her faith, and her doctor,” she said. “In the end, the difficult choice is hers. To tell her, as this bill does, that she must wait 24 hours implies that women cannot make their own decisions. That is why I’m adding gender equality to this bill. If a woman must wait 24 hours before she can receive medical treatment relating to her reproductive health, a man should have to wait the same amount of time.”
Additional amendments address advertising restrictions, ownership and operation of the controversial pregnancy resource centers, and misleading information routinely disseminated by these centers.