SCOTT KEELER | Times (2014)
After a brief but divisive debate, the Senate Health Policy Committee Tuesday advanced a bill that would enhance an existing state pregnancy services program that excludes abortion referrals.
SB 1130, sponsored by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, would for the first time place into Florida statute a program that provides state funds to a network of pregnancy centers. The program has been operating since 2005 outside of statute, with funding provided on an annual basis during budget negotiations.
The Pregnancy Support Services program has fielded 5,796 hotline calls and provided 120,929 services to 24,184 women and families, Bean testified.
“In statutes, we can further direct the Department of Health to firmly establish the program rather than relying…