TALLAHASSEE (CBS4)- The Florida Senate has approved a proposed state constitutional amendment and a bill to ban abortion funding with public and insurance exchange dollars.
The largely party line votes in the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday sent both House-passed measures back to that chamber with some changes.READ MORE: Red Tide Uptick Spurs Respiratory Warning At Florida Beaches
The amendment (HJR 1179) passed with 27 favorable votes — the minimum needed to put it on the 2012 ballot. It would ban public funding — already prohibited by federal law — and exempt abortion from the Florida Constitution’s strong privacy right.
The bill (HR 79) would exclude abortion coverage from policies obtained through insurance exchanges states must set up in 2014 under the federal health care overhaul.
Both include exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the mother’s life, but not her health.
The House took up five bills Tuesday that targeted items including: insurance coverage for abortions, teen abortions, state funding of abortions and clinic ownership, and change how money is used from the “Choose Life” license plate.
Democrats called the bills as “anti-women and anti-female.” Republicans countered that it’s about life, not about being anti-women.READ MORE: Survey: Working From Home Yields Positive Effect On Finances, Time With Family, More Sleep
Debates about abortion have been common in the state legislature, but with conservatives having a super majority, there has been a large uptick in the volume of bills dealing with abortion.
“What these bills represent I think is the biggest expansion of government into the personal lives of the people of Florida, especially the women of Florida in the history of the state of Florida,” said Simon.
Any bill that is passed by both chambers will be quickly signed by Governor Rick Scott.
Howard Simon, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said any of the bills that are signed into law will be challenged in court by the ACLU.
To track the House and Senate Bills, click here.MORE NEWS: Florida’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday Expanded To 10 Days, Starts July 31
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