Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sense Comes to the Florida Senate

There’s a glimmer of hope that the Florida legislature isn’t completely dominated by medieval trolls and misogynistic busy-bodies.

In a surprising rejection of conservative election-year politics, the Republican-controlled state Senate on Wednesday defeated a measure requiring women to get an ultrasound exam and view the results before proceeding with an abortion.

The rare 20-20 tie vote — and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that led to it — pitted Senate Republican leader Dan Webster, who sponsored the bill, against former Senate President Jim King, a Republican who built a coalition of GOP moderates and Democrats to kill it.

”Unless you ovulate or have ovulated, we have no business as males interfering with your female decision on reproduction,” King said. ”A woman making a decision that she wants to abort, that decision should be honored.”

Sen. King noted that it’s more than just a medical procedure:

“We have before us an opportunity to speak out for the women of this state who have been granted constitutionally the right to have an abortion,” said Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville. “Make no bones about it, what we’re asking women to do is an impediment to that right. Because we’re hopeful that by making them take the sonogram, by making them sign a sheet, by making them hear or see, that they are somehow going to be somewhat less inclined to have the abortion. Personally, I don’t think that’s our right.”

At long last: a legislator — and a Republican — who gets the idea that a woman’s body is her own. Amazing.

HT to Melissa and Shaker Danielle.