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Crist says he would sign abortion ban

The gubernatorial candidate said he would only sign a ban if it made exceptions for victims of rape and incest.

Published March 22, 2006


PENSACOLA - Attorney General Charlie Crist would sign an abortion ban similar to South Dakota's if he were elected governor, he said Wednesday before announcing proposals to increase adoption and protect children from Internet predators.

When asked by a Roman Catholic Priest whether he would sign a bill like South Dakota's abortion ban, which only allows the procedure to save a woman's life, Crist quickly answered "Yes I would."

He later clarified that the South Dakota law, set to go into effect July 1, is too restrictive, and he would only sign a ban if it also allowed abortions for victims of rape and incest. Crist added, "Promoting a culture of life is preferable to me than passing laws."

Crist also detailed his proposal to give people financial incentives to adopt. People who adopt a child privately would receive $3,000 a year for three years. Families who adopt foster children would receive $5,000 a year until the child turns 18.

The Office of Adoption and Child Protection would also be created under Crist's proposal. He called for a stronger public awareness campaign to promote adoption.

He also proposed increasing the number of state investigators assigned to Internet crimes against children. That number is now less than 10. Crist wants 50.

"If we protect children and strengthen families we will go a long way toward realizing our hopes and dreams for all Floridians," Crist said.

Crist's Republican opponent, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, has also suggested financially assistance to families who adopt. His plan, though, is to pay for legal and other costs couples face when adopting, up to $10,000. Couples who adopt special needs children could receive up to $20,000.

Gallagher's campaign criticized Crist's abortion remarks, saying Crist opposed a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.

"Charlie Crist is once again taking multiple and contradictory positions on an issue important to Republican voters," said Gallagher spokesman Albert Martinez.

Democrats running for governor include state Sen. Rod Smith and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis. Gov. Jeb Bush can't seek re-election because of term limits.

Also Wednesday, Crist toured a Crestview facility that works on military aircraft, handed out bumper stickers to a lunch crowd in Pensacola and held an evening fundraiser. U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller drove him from stop to stop during the campaign swing.

[Last modified March 22, 2006, 18:37:24]

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