March 9, 2016
TALLAHASSEE, FL - The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops commends our state legislature for passing legislation that aims to protect the health and safety of women who choose abortion. Although we seek to protect all life, including unborn life, we must also recognize that some women do choose abortion. Unfortunately, there are discrepancies in the level of care women receive at abortion clinics compared to the care offered at other health care facilities. This bill addresses this disparity.
Currently, Florida abortionists are the only physicians in the state who can perform invasive surgical procedures in a non-hospital setting without being required to have admitting privileges or a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. This shows disregard for the well-being of women who depend on receiving proper care. Surgical abortions are surgical procedures, and unforeseen complications can and do arise.
HB 1411 requires that either an abortion clinic has a transfer agreement or all of the physicians performing abortions at the clinic have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 minutes away by emergency vehicle. This requirement helps ensure that women who suffer emergencies while undergoing abortions can receive immediate care.
“Reasonable and commonsense protections already exist for every other invasive outpatient procedure, and it is time to ensure those same protections for women who undergo abortions,” said Ingrid Delgado, associate for social concerns/respect life.
Additionally, the bill allows us to more fully understand what compels some women to terminate their pregnancies by improving the reporting requirements of clinics that perform abortions. It is through proper recordkeeping and review of data that we can better recognize how to help men and women choose life in the future. Currently, Florida is one of only a handful of states that does not report comprehensive abortion data to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We praise our state’s legislative leaders for advancing this legislation, especially bill sponsors Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Representative Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland). We encourage Governor Scott to sign this good bill into law.
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The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. It speaks for the Church in matters of public policy and serves as liaison to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.