The Honorable Charlie Crist
Governor, State of Florida
PL-05 The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Dear Governor Crist,
We the undersigned organizations, representing more than one million Floridians, call upon you to sign HB 1143. This bill, if signed into law, will protect women’s health care by giving them real informed choice on abortion and protect taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortion on demand against their will.
Contrary to some inaccurate claims being perpetuated, this common-sense bill gives women who are considering an abortion the choice of voluntarily reviewing and having a live ultrasound explained to her before the procedure, should she choose to, otherwise, she can decline, it is always the woman's choice.
According to a 2008 Florida Senate staff analysis, ``At least 82 percent of the licensed abortion clinics in Florida require every woman seeking an abortion in the first trimester to have an ultrasound.'' The same analysis indicated that ``the fee for the abortion includes the cost of the ultrasound'' so it is not much of a new requirement and will not raise costs.
In fact, this is consistent with the latest medical findings, according to the March of Dimes, a 2006 Institute of Medicine report encourages wider use of ultrasound to more accurately establish gestational age as a step toward learning more about the causes of premature birth.
Furthermore, in December, 2008, Kathleen Sebelius, the pro-choice Catholic Democratic governor of Kansas at the time, signed a common-sense ultrasound bill in her own state before being appointed as the Secretary of Health and Human Services by President Barack Obama.
In the last week alone, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, a Democrat, signed an ultrasound bill in his state, becoming the 20th governor to do so.
The bill also protects taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortion on demand against their will, federal law already allows private insurance plans in the exchanges to cover abortion as long as they collect a separate premium. That money must remain apart from public subsidies available to help pay insurance premiums for most customers in the exchanges. In fact, most private health insurance plans cover abortion as a legal medical procedure, but research indicates many women opt to pay directly. Insurers still could offer separate policies to specifically cover abortion. So this bill, if signed into law, it will not result in women losing health care coverage they currently have today, it does not prohibit individuals from purchasing health insurance with their own private dollars that includes abortion coverage.
Finally, according to your own Office of Open Government, nearly two-thirds of Floridians (63%) have contacted your office asking to sign HB-1143. Please do not disregard the clear majority and will of the people.
If HB 1143 is signed into law, this common-sense legislation will put Florida on the map as a state on the cutting edge of protecting women's health, and protecting taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortion on demand against their will, which is completely consistent with the recent Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama preventing federal funding of abortion in the new health care plan. Elected officials have a sworn duty and responsibility to protect their constituents through common-sense proposals such as HB-1143.
Cathoic Cultural Fund
Eladio Jose Armesto
Galia Perea Soler
Cuban-American Publishers Association (C.A.P.A.)
Knights of Columbus
Eagle Forum of Florida
Nathaniel J. Wilcox
Communities Strengthening Families for the Good Life
Republican National Forum
U.S. Hispanic Publishers Federation
Florida Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.)
Founder and Executive Director, Christian Family Coalition
Mark D. Boykin
Christian Family Coalition of Palm Beach County
Christian Family Coalition of Pinellas County