TALLAHASSEE — Lawmakers agreed Thursday to sweeping changes in Florida abortion laws, including a voter-mandated requirement that doctors must notify the parent or guardian of girls who want to end their pregnancies.
The Legislature also sent to Gov. Jeb Bush a bill that creates stricter regulations for some abortion clinics.
And in another measure sought by anti-abortion activists, legislators approved a bill saying a person who assaults a pregnant woman can, in certain cases, be charged with murder if the fetus dies.
The bills were considered a victory for Christian conservatives and Republican leaders who tried unsuccessfully earlier this year to pass a law to help Terri Schiavo’s parents keep their brain-damaged daughter alive against her husband’s wishes.
The debate over Schiavo’s case, which nearly brought the legislative session to a halt in March, became a rallying cry for what Christian conservatives and some lawmakers call the "culture of life."
The aftermath of that debate could have helped along those bills, some lawmakers said.
"Because of the Schiavo vote, some probably felt it might be a good idea to address some of these issues to sort of balance things out," said Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, who sponsored the bill to mandate parental notification before abortions. "There may have been some pressure felt to pass some legislation that would be viewed favorably to the pro-life folks." [Source]
It seems these positive changes are being advanced more for political reasons than to bring about a culture of life. The language used of balancing things out and legislation that would be viewed favorably by pro-life folks certainly speaks mainly of of political tone.