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."