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Florida governor signs abortion bill ending funding to clinics

[JURIST] Florida Governor Rick Scott [official website] on Friday signed a bill [HB 1411 materials] into law that will cut off state funding to clinics providing abortions as well as impose more restrictions on abortions in the state. The law, which has been publicly criticized by Planned Parenthood [advocacy website], bans state funding for services at clinics that provide abortions, on top of the ban on state funding for abortions that was already in place. The law also will require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges within a reasonable distance of their clinics. Scott signed into law 68 other bills on Friday and commented on some of them but refused to comment on the abortion bill. The bill passed the Republican-controlled legislature earlier this month, and many other states are passing similar bills.

Abortion procedures and reproductive rights issues [JURIST backgrounder] have been controversial topics throughout the US. Last week Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a controversial bill banning abortions motivated by concerns of the fetus' gender, race or potential disabilities. Earlier this month a district court judge blocked [JURIST report] Arkansas from enforcing a bill mandating abortion pill providers to follow US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines and requiring hospital admittance privileges to handle complications. Also this month West Virginia lawmakers overrode the governor's veto to enact a new law [JURIST report] that prevents the dilation and evacuation abortion procedure, widely held to be the safest second-trimester abortion method. South Dakota's governor signed a bill [JURIST report] that bans abortions after 20 weeks. Last month the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed [JURIST report] a lower court decision upholding a law that restricts use of medication abortion drugs.

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