Florida governor signs law ending funding to clinics providing abortions

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New Florida Law Requires Waiting Period For Abortion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 25 (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott on Friday signed a law that cuts off state funding for preventive health services to clinics providing abortion and imposes abortion restrictions already being tested before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Florida is among many states adopting new abortion laws as conservatives seek to chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Scott signed 68 new laws and issued statements on some non-controversial bills on Friday but did not comment on the abortion statute.

The bill, which easily passed the Republican-controlled legislature earlier this month, has been the target of television advertisements by Planned Parenthood and protests at the Capitol by women urging a veto.

Related: See photos of pro-life versus pro-choice:

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Florida governor signs law ending funding to clinics providing abortions
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2015/08/22: Girl holds up hand-lettered sign in front of Planned Parenthood. A coalition of anti-abortion protesters protested on Mott Street in Manhattan in front of Planned Parenthood. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2015/08/22: Assembly of some 150 anti-abortion protesters behind barricade in front of Planned Parenthood. A coalition of anti-abortion protesters protested on Mott Street in Manhattan in front of Planned Parenthood. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2015/08/22: Adrienne Luendo (rt) of Stop Patriarchy debates with anti-abortion protesters. A coalition of anti-abortion protesters protested on Mott Street in Manhattan in front of Planned Parenthood. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2015/08/22: A coalition of anti-abortion protesters protested on Mott Street in Manhattan in front of Planned Parenthood. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH- SEPTEMBER 8: Donald Wilson, 64, protests against abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood Health Center on September 8, 2015 in Akron, OH. (Photo by Mary F. Calvert For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
TINLEY PARK, IL - JULY 31: Stages of a fetus are displayed at the Illinois Right To Life a table while Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks at the Freedom's Journal Institute for the Study of Faith and Public Policy 2015 Rise Initiative on July 31, 2015 in Tinley Park, Illinois. The event was billed as a 'frank discussion on defending the sanctity of life from conception to natural death'. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson attends a anti-abortion rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. Planned Parenthood faces mounting criticism amid the release of videos by a pro-life group and demands to vote in the Senate to stop funding. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a Anti-abortion rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. Planned Parenthood faces mounting criticism amid the release of videos by a pro-life group and demands to vote in the Senate to stop funding. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Anti-abortion activists hold a rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
A pro-choice activists holds a placard in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, January 22, 2015, as she and others await the pro-choice activists with the March For Life. Tens of thousands of Americans who oppose abortion are in Washington for the annual March for Life, marking the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-abortion activists take part in the annual March for Life rally on January 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-choice activists block the road as US Capitol Police escort the March For Life's front of the US Supreme Court (rear) in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2015. Tens of thousands of Americans who oppose abortion are in Washington for the annual March for Life, marking the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Razor grass and pro-choice signs limit the view of patients entering the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Mississippi's only abortion clinic will likely remain open at least until the fall, because the U.S. Supreme Court is taking no action until then on a dispute over a state law that could close it. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2015 file photo, college students and abortion rights activists hold signs during a rally on the steps of the Texas Capitol, in Austin, Texas. The Supreme Court refused on Monday, June 29, 2015, to allow Texas to enforce restrictions that would force 10 abortion clinics to close. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
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John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, called the law "a historic victory," in a statement.

State funding of abortion was already prohibited, but the new law also blocks money for services for low-income women at the clinics.

It also requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital - a type of formal affiliation that can be difficult to obtain - within a "reasonable" distance of clinics.

In addition, the law requires annual inspection of clinics by health authorities and tightened rules on disposal of aborted fetal tissue.

"For Rick Scott to prioritize political pandering over his own constituents' access to healthcare is more than cynical. It's shameful," Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said in a statement.

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She predicted HIV rates will "skyrocket" and teenage pregnancies will rise because women will lose access to regular treatment at state-funded clinics.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a similar law in Texas, where several clinics have closed because of new restrictions.

Legislative sponsors in Florida argued that the law was not meant to shutter clinics but protect women with new safety rules.

The law takes effect July 1 but will probably be challenged in court quickly. Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said he was not surprised the governor signed the bill.

"He claims to be for small government, pro-freedom and opposed to putting government in between people and their doctors - except when it comes to Florida's women," said Simon.

Another Florida law passed last year, requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion, recently took effect and faces a continued legal challenge.

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