A new bill introduced in the Florida legislature that would make most abortions illegal with a penalty of up to life in prison for doctors who performed them—including abortions resulting from pregnancies involving rape or incest—has been filed for the 2010 legislative session.
Both anti-abortion advocates and abortion rights supporters agree the 53-page proposal is an attempt to directly challenge the 40-year-old Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions in the United States in 1973.
Along with not protecting victims of rape and incest, the bill would make induced abortions illegal and punishable by up to life in prison, allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to provide abortion services, and make women jump through two physician sign-offs to ensure that an abortion is medically necessary to save the life of the mother.
Meanwhile, we're in day three of a nationwide pro-life vigil called 40 Days for Life, which sends church groups to fast and pray in front of various women's health care providers, including Planned Parenthood locations in Tacoma, Everett, Olympia, and Bremerton.
John Leslie, a volunteer with the 40 Days campaign in Tacoma, says he objects to Planned Parenthood's abortion factory and promotion of promiscuity, and prays daily for their "change of heart". He says his group has roughly 12 people praying in front of Planned Parenthood each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. When asked why he objects to sexual education and protection for women, Leslie said:
"[Planned Parenthood] like to promote this nice term called 'scientifically and medically accurate information' but who knows what that means... Really their goal isn't to reduce the amount of sex [kids are] having, they want to promote sex in our schools and then offer out abortions... It's all good business for them, like having the fox in the hen house."
He admits that he's never been inside a Planned Parenthood and doesn't know exactly what they do during private consultations. He also informed me that abortion leads to a 40 percent increase in breast cancer risk among women (a statistic commonly heard at religiously-run limited service pregnancy centers).
"That's just not true," says Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kristen Glundberg-Prosser, citing this page by the American Cancer Society. As for the effect fasting and praying is having on Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington, "We've seen no decline in our number of patients. We have trained escorts ready and available to keep our patients safe, but really, these groups aren't having an effect on our patient load."