Tallahassee, Florida – Gov. Rick Scott has signed a law that affects preventive health services, given the fact that they will not receive state funding and are now facing restrictions. On the other hand, terminal patients are now allowed to access full strength marijuana.

Governor Scott has awakened a dispute over two of 68 bills passed, after signing on Friday afternoon a law that will affect abortion clinics in the state of Florida.

Rick Scott
Gov. Rick Scott has signed a law that affects abortion clinics in Florida, as well as new medical marijuana laws. Credit: National Journal

Gov. Scott also issued his first veto in the referendum to create a new utility board in Gainesville.

Starting July 1, Florida’s abortion clinics will be asked to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital to work properly. This requirement has been previously asked to the state of Texas, causing the closing of 20 abortion clinics.

Clinics will also be required to face annual inspections by the state, according to the signed law. Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, has assured the law is all about ensuring women’s safety within these clinics.

The signed law has sparked a lot of attention as the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida hasn’t decided whether to sue the state on this matter. The union already has issued a lawsuit to the state over a mandatory 24-hour abortion waiting period that passed last year.

The law doesn’t just stop state funding for preventive clinics, it also blocks state money for cancer screenings and tests for sexually transmitted diseases in clinics that perform elective abortions.

Even though the state doesn’t fund abortions, supporters of the law assure that around $200,000 are spent annually on preventive care clinics and the amount indirectly funds abortions.

Rick Scott also signed another controversial healthcare bill, in which allows terminal patients to use full-strength medical marijuana. Nurseries that were not approved for the distribution of the medical herb by the Department of Health could be receiving additional licenses and allowing them to begin production.

Legislative hearings have shown that critics of the law are warning the state on giving nurseries that already have a license by the Department of Health a leg up for the legalization of marijuana in a broader way.

The governor has not issued statements on any of these matters.

Other bills passed on Friday afternoon by Gov. Scott include new policies to help the criminal justice system better treat mental illness, more authority for physician assistants to write prescriptions and an expanded anti-corruption law that includes contractors and requires a lesser burden of proof in corruption cases.

Source: Miami Herald