Tallahassee reporter Gary Fineout reports today that a GOP state lawmaker has sent out an e-mail to supporters saying that Rick Scott would support a bill that would make abortion illegal in Florida in nearly all instances, including rape and incense.
The lawmaker in question is North Florida Representative Charles Van Zant this week, who proposed his "Florida Right to Life Act" in the past legislative session but never got an up and down vote on the issue.
Planned Parenthood spoke out against the legislation at the time, contending the bill would return state laws to pre-Roe versus Wade, punishing women who have abortions and the doctors who provide them. It would make an exception only in cases where the mother's health is in danger.
According to Van Zant, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling was wrong. Lots of pro-life people feel that way, but it is the law of the land. But not according to this legislator, who is also a Baptist minister.
Van Zant's bill states that the Florida Legislature has the power to ignore U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion — including Roe v. Wade — because the constitution does not give the court the "power to determine moral questions on behalf of the citizens of any state without their consent." Van Zant's bill also states that the Supreme Court is not "qualified to determine, establish, or define the moral values of the people of the United States and specifically for the people of Florida."
And according to the e-mail, Van Zant says that Scott would back the bill in next year's legislative session if elected next month.
"He immediately said 'Yes, that's what I believe and that's what I will do.' He telephoned me last week to assure me that he would keep this issue before our state government," Van Zant added.
The question to present to Rick Scott would be does he also believe that Roe v. Wade is settled law,or is he of the opinion of Representative Van Zant that it's not? One hopes he will be asked about abortion at the next gubernatorial debate, scheduled for next Wednesday.
Alex Sink is pro-choice. She applauded Governor Charlie Crist earlier this year when he vetoed a bill presented to him towards the end of the session in May that would have required ultrasounds before first-trimester abortions. Scott supported the legislation, and lawmakers who backed the bill say they intend it back up for a vote in 2011.