by Steven Ertelt
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) -- In the latest development in the race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Florida, Governor Charlie Crist is coming under fire for removing the pro-life section of his campaign website. This comes on the day the legislature sent him a bill that would allow women to see an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion.
Crist has already hinted he will veto the legislation, which also allows Florida to opt out of some of the abortion funding under the new national health care law President Barack Obama signed.
That he would potentially veto a pro-life bill will broad support from voters is another indication of his strategy to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent.
Knowing he may veto the bill, the campaign of pro-life Republican candidate Marco Rubio informed LifeNews.com today that Crist's campaign scrubbed his web site of a section touting Crist as a supposedly pro-life candidate.
"Now that he has left the Republican Party in order to win an election and is trying to attract liberal votes, the Crist campaign yesterday removed the 'pro-life/family' issue page of its website," Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos told LifeNews.com today. "In doing so, Charlie Crist eliminated any reference to being 'pro-life' in a transparent attempt to hide his position in order to win an election."
"Crist is flip-flopping again," Burgos continued. "When he was a Republican trying to win the Republican primary, Crist repeatedly stated he was pro-life and even said he would 'fight for pro-life legislation if he’s elected to the Senate.'"
"Will Charlie Crist flip-flop further, no longer call himself 'pro-life' and revert back to his 1998 pro-choice position?" he asks.
The Rubio campaign made a screen shot of the pro-life section formerly appearing on the Crist web site.
On April 30th, the Florida Legislature passed HB 1143 -- with the House backing it 76-44 and the Senate 23-16. Both are short of the two-thirds necessary to override a gubernatorial veto.
While Crist and abortion advocates erroneously claim the bill forces a woman to view her ultrasound before undergoing an abortion, the text of the bill says women are given the option.
Section 390.0111 of the bill, line 512 states: "The woman has a right to decline to view the ultrasound images after she is informed of her right and offered an opportunity to view them."
Though the measure doesn't require women to see the ultrasound -- it gives them the option -- Crist claimed it did in a recent Tampa Tribune interview.
"On two fronts it disturbs me," Crist said, according to the newspaper. "That you would force a woman to go through this procedure . . . almost seems mean-spirited. To have your government impose on you, listen to a lecture, then on top of that, you have to pay for it."
He said there is "probably not a whole lot" that would convince him to sign House Bill 1143.
Rubio has also urged Crist to sign the bill.
"It is my hope that Governor Crist will come down on the side of life, and sign HB 1143 into law, or at least allow it to become law without his signature," Rubio said in a statement LifeNews.com received. "This commonsense measure is a small but important step toward providing women with vital information during perhaps the most critical healthcare decision they will ever make."
In 2006, there were 95,586 abortions performed in Florida.
ACTION: Contact Governor Crist: Phone: 850-488-7146, Fax 850-487-0801, or write him at Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com