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."
Govenor Crist made a principled decided, not a political one as Mr. Rubio (and I used that sparringly) asserts. Kudos to you Gov. Crist.
I think that legislature is like the one in Alaska which requires rape victims to pay for their rape kit. (Victimize the victim ?? )
Spill baby spill - she's the one that signed that rape kit law - hope she gets back what she has so freely given to other human beings – one way or the other.
This guy has become a class act, I would vote for him in a New York minute.
Gov. Crist has earned my vote for November.
This bill was a "Big" government overreach into the private lives of citizens, where it has no business. Too many Republicans purport the fallacy of "limited government" as a campaign slogan and then hypocritically push through a big GOP intrusion such as this.
I am personally pro-life but do not feel it is my place to impose my choice on others, and neither should our government.
Crist is an Obamist/Progressive, of course he would want to promote abortions.
So Crist is AGAINST informing and educating patients in an unbiased, scientific way before making a major life-altering decision?
Why is it that every time Mr. Crist makes a good decision, Rubio says he is playing politics. I wish Mr. Crist was the governor of my state instead of this non-elected Republican we got stuck with when President Obama tapped our elected governor to head Homeland Security. You go Charlie.
Finally – a voice of reason!
What a mean-spirited sadistic law.
Just more hypocritical Conservative horse manure.
Rubio said in a statement, "Once again, Charlie Crist has put politics ahead of principled policy-making." And once again the party that staunchly advocates “less government in people’s lives” is showing their hypocrisy by supporting legislation that not only intrudes upon, but seeks to control the personal lives of Americans. I’m a Republican, but the party has zero credibility and is a complete failure when it comes to being the standard bearers of social conservatism and family values.
I think it's a political move for Crist for certain, but it's also the right thing to do. It's unfair to make blatant attempts against a person's freedom and force moral judgment onto them. Life is a valuable thing, but so is freedom. In my honest opinion, life without freedom isn't life. People are dying today to preserve our ability to make choices like this, and we should be shamed that we're trying to strip our own rights away.
Yeah, how dare you expect the mother to see what she will be killing. These are sick times we live in.
Did Charlie Crist learn constitutional law from Barack Obama?
Again, thank God there is a Sensible Center still operating in American politics.
A woman should have to face the magnitude of her act. She still has the right to choose, but this bill would let her know exactly what she's choosing, to murder a life.
Green is right and Crist just is going along with the flow. Another stupid repo bill to take choice away from the individual and have the repos rule out lives according to what they deem right and moral. You know how moral they are
Wow...I like this guy! I never thought I'd say that about a former Repub. Using ultrasound is purely manipulative and not necessary. Who's idea is this anyway? The GOP screams about too much welfare and social programs but they don't care about the root cause...unwanted pregnancies. People who can't afford and should not have kids end up having them anyway.
It's difficult enough parenting when you are ready and able, but what happens to kids who are not wanted? If men got pregnant, this wouldn't even be an issue! Keep politics out of personal decisions...and thanks Charlie!
as woman's choice, make laws that rapists and crimes toward childern are death. as by jury
Ya think?...no brainer...Gop and men need to stay out of womens uteruses and let us decide...Crist makes more sense than Sarah Palin...abstinence my ass.....
No Mr. Greene, Crist was until very recently a republican – which means he probably would have signed the bill, and now he is an Independent which means we are not sure how he will vote. So he has to think about it and let us know where he stands. I'm a democrat, but somehow Crist is getting more and more appealing.
I don't believe anyone was meaning to intrude on a woman's right to choose. The law was intended to give her the opportunity to SEE the infant she was about to put to death. It is the responsibility of the State to protect the rights of the unborn.
Too bad Charlie Crist wasn't aborted.
How liberating it must be to make a decision based on what you believe is right without fearing the wrath of the party "purists." Congratulations, Charlie, on finding your freedom.
What would ultra sound do that the woman can't already feel? These right wing religious nut cases have to be stopped. Now I'm religious, but not to the level of these crazies!
This is what independent, critical thinking is all about–rising above personal prejudices and bias. Will this spread to other politicians? I'm sure you know the answer.