A pro-life bill requiring pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound scan before having an abortion has been controversially vetoed by the Governor of Florida.
The Bill, which would also have banned taxpayer funding for abortions in the State, would have required women seeking an abortion during their first three months to have had an ultrasound and either view the image or hear a description of their baby.
Supporters of the Bill said they wanted women to have more information before proceeding with an abortion.
But Governor Charlie Crist, who has previously described himself as “pro-life”, decided to veto the Bill which he said would place an “inappropriate burden” on women.
The decision has outraged pro-lifers.
John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council, said: “Governor Crist’s veto is profoundly disappointing”.
He added: “He has now gone full circle from being pro-choice in his original US Senate bid, to being ‘pro-life’ in his bid for Governor and now he is clearly defined himself as pro-abortion once again.”
But Governor Crist has defended his decision, saying: “Individuals hold strong personal views on the issue of life, as do I”.
“However, personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary,” he added.
The Bill would have exempted victims of rape, incest or domestic violence.
Currently the law in Florida requires pregnant women in the second and third trimesters to have an ultrasound before proceeding with an abortion.
In April it was revealed that pregnant women in the US state of Oklahoma were to be given an ultrasound and receive detailed information about their unborn baby before going through with an abortion.
However, the following month it was revealed that abortion activists had succeeded in obtaining a 45-day suspension of the law.
And in November the director of a Texan abortion clinic quit her job after watching ultrasound footage of an abortion, and joined a pro-life group which protests outside the facility.
Abby Johnson, 29, spent eight years working at the Planned Parenthood centre in Bryan, Texas, two of them spent as director.
Miss Johnson said her growing disillusionment with the pro-abortion movement reached “breaking point” when she watched an ultrasound of an abortion taking place.