WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Republican turned independent Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a bill on Friday that he said "places an inappropriate burden on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy."
The bill would have required a woman to have a mandatory ultrasound - and pay for it - before having an abortion. Women would have also had to view the live image and listen to the doctor describing the fetus.
"Individuals hold strong personal views on the issue of life, as do I," Crist wrote in a letter to Florida's Department of State. "However, personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary."
Crist states that "such action would violate a woman's right to privacy."
"There are many medical or fiscal barriers that could be placed upon a woman in order to prevent her from following through on her constitutionally protected decision to end a pregnancy. However, such measures do not change hearts, which is the only true and effective way to ensure that a new life coming into the world is loved, cherished, and receives the care that is deserved," Crist wrote.
Crist's veto of Florida House Bill 1143 is yet another example of the governor vetoing a bill favored by Florida Republicans. In April, he vetoed an education bill that would have made the process of firing Florida teachers easier.
Crist's latest veto has earned him some criticism from Republican and Democratic opponents. Crist will face Republican candidate Marco Rubio and one of two candidates on the Democratic side: Rep. Kendrick Meek or billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene.
Rubio said in a statement, "Once again, Charlie Crist has put politics ahead of principled policy-making."
Rubio called the bill a "commonsense measure" that would have "provided women with vital information as they make a critical decision."
He added that, "Even those who agree with the outcome of the governor's decision should be alarmed that an issue as serious and deserving of sober deliberation as this one was treated in such a calculating, political manner."
In a statement, Meek called Crist’s veto “a no-brainer.”
The Democrat added, “The personal decision a woman makes in private should not be dictated by a band of rigid philosophical conservatives with power in [Florida state capitol] Tallahassee. I have fought my entire life for a woman's right to choose and that fight continues.”
Greene said in a statement that the bill "should have been opposed from the start."
He added, "The fact that Charlie Crist even had to think about whether or not to veto this bill is just more evidence that Crist is a flip-flopper."
"Once again, Charlie Crist has put politics ahead of principled policy-making."
Mr. Rubio, that is exactly backwards. This bill was putting the politics of anti-abortion zealots ahead of legitimate policy.
Isn't it the republicans who are for limited government? You advocate for a bill that requires an unnecessary medical procedure, that is small government?
It never ceases to amaze me. Republicans are against regulation when it comes to drill, baby, drill – the free market will regulate it (how's that working out with BP right now?) Limit regulation when it comes to workplace safety, or protecting the environment, or mandating health insurance. Those things are all bad. But when it comes to private matters, like gays, or legal medical procedures, or Terri Schaivo, you want to dictate your morals for things that shouldn't concern you.
Christ looks like a better senator every day!
MESSAGE TO FLORIDA PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT:
The ultrasound tests should have been paid for by the government. Had you removed that financial burden and quasi-tax, you might have been successful.
Also, base the requirement on reports of Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome and the need to inform the patient of the scope of what is being aborted.
I have a lot of respect for Charlie Crist. He's like the old-time Republicans I remember from years ago (the Gerald Ford type). Fiscally conservative, but socially moderate. I'm a lifelong democrat, but years ago, there were Republicans I could definitely live with if my side lost. In fact, there were a handful of times when I actually voted for such Republicans. I'm sorry that I can't say the same for modern-day Republicans. I wish there were a lot more GOP politicians like Charlie Crist around!
Since he shook the shackles of the Republican Party, Crist has been making rational decisions. For starters, he's not wasting taxpayer money defending lawsuits against a bill that is certain to be struck down by the courts.
Yep! He's a Democrat.
Well done!! If only MORE people would treat women like the full grown adult human beings we are, who are capable of making our own choices with our own bodies.
As a woman who believes that these decisions should only be between a woman, her family (if she so chooses to involved them) and her doctor, I am very pleased to see that this ridiculous waste of paper bill was vetoed. I know Crist is just doing it for the votes, but I don't care. Such intrusions into Womens privacy is sickening and against everything Americans usually stand for. Aren't we always fighting for our right to privacy? Why does that suddenly become a non-issue when it comes to these kinds of bills? As a woman, and a Floridian, I am pleased to see this bill has been rejected.
Whoever was behind this bill was very much interested on the return of those 'back room' with very unsavory and unhygienic conditions in which the abortions were done before Roe vs Wade, under the guise of 'helping women to have a better idea'.
Women who REALLY wants to have an abortion will have it, regardless of the 'detours' that are put in their way.
Like that bill.
BTW, they would have to pay for the ultrasound? Supposing that the bill was signed and not vetoed, did the guy or gal that proposed it really expected that the numbers of ultrasounds would beHIGHER than the number of abortions?
Sure. Crist just supports women "blindly" having abortions as a form of birth control without realizing they are ending a life. Does Crist realize that women who repeatedly have abortions because they are too lazy to obtain appropriate birth control measures are not worried about "privacy" since they are forcing medical personnel to perform so many operations that will fill up her medical record? Crist is clueless.