2001: Bush Vetoed Funding For Family Planning Services Provided To Poor Women Through Planned Parenthood.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, “Even the most powerful state lawmakers were hit by Gov. Jeb Bush’s vetoes on Friday. The Republican governor vetoed $ 290-million in the state budget that lawmakers passed this spring, including more than $ 25-million for projects in two counties – Manatee and Sarasota – represented by Senate President John McKay. […] The cuts also included $ 302,843 for family planning services provided to poor women through local Planned Parenthood affiliates, money that had been provided each year for more than a decade. The share earmarked for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, which includes the Tampa Bay area, was $ 125,800 for services for 1,258 women. The other regional affiliates affected by the cuts are based in Jacksonville and Naples. ‘Many of our patients have no health insurance nor are eligible for Medicaid. They absolutely depend on clinics like ours,’ said Barbara A. Zdravecky, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.” [St. Petersburg Times, 6/16/01]
Bush Attempted To Assign Legal Guardian To Fetus Of Mentally Disabled Rape Victim In An Effort To Oppose Abortion Rights.
According to The New York Times, “A Florida appeals court panel ruled on Friday that the state could not appoint a guardian for the fetus of a retarded rape victim, dismissing what civil-liberties groups complained was an attack by Gov. Jeb Bush against abortion rights. The ruling does not affect the woman because she gave birth in August. But lawyers who fought the state’s effort said the decision would have a far-reaching impact, because it would keep the state from establishing legal protection for fetuses in the future. Mr. Bush, a Republican, opposes abortion, and he drew national attention by intervening last spring in the case of the woman, who is identified in court papers as J. D. S. A circuit court judge had denied requests to appoint a guardian for the fetus, made by people who feared the woman’s own court-appointed guardian would arrange for an abortion. An Orlando woman seeking to be the fetus’s guardian appealed that decision, and Mr. Bush intervened on her behalf in May. Some critics accused Mr. Bush of using the case to curry favor with conservatives, in part because his brother, President Bush, may need their support to win Florida in the 2004 election.” [The New York Times, 1/11/04]
The Guardianship For The Rape Victim’s Fetus Was Sought Out Of Concern The Pregnancy Might Be Terminated.
According to Orlando Sentinel, “The J.D.S. case sparked a national debate on fetal rights last spring after Bush and Jerry Regier, secretary of the Department of Children & Families, asked for the guardian. J.D.S., now 23, is severely retarded and suffers from cerebral palsy and autism. Circuit Judge Lawrence Kirkwood appointed a guardian for her in early June to help make decisions about the woman’s health, including her pregnancy. Kirkwood said no, however, when an Orlando-area woman, Jennifer Wixtrom, sought to become a guardian for J.D.S.’ unborn child at a time when some abortion opponents feared the pregnancy might be terminated. Bush joined in Wixtrom’s appeal to the court in Daytona Beach. J.D.S. gave birth to a baby girl in late August soon after the three-judge panel heard arguments in the case, which the court described in its ruling Friday as a matter ‘of great public importance and capable of recurring.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 1/11/04]