NRL News

Florida Is Now One of the Most Pro-Life States in America … Here’s How It All Could Be Undone in November

by | Apr 8, 2024

By Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel

In the same day, the Florida Supreme Court handed down two vastly different opinions with life-or-death implications for the preborn. One decision affirmed that there is no right to abortion in the Florida Constitution and the other allowed an abortion amendment to move forward — which would permit virtually unfettered access to abortion — to appear on the Florida ballot.

Until then, Florida will be among the most pro-life states in the country with robust protections for the preborn after the Florida Supreme Court’s 6-1 ruling against Planned Parenthood.

On April 1, the Court overrode previous abortion opinions dating back to 1989 and upheld the 15-week abortion ban. Because of this, the six-week abortion ban, which corresponds with when a preborn baby’s heart begins beating, will soon be in effect.

But in November, all of this could be undone. While this ruling was a huge win for life in Florida, it could be overridden if Floridians vote to pass the abortion ballot measure the Court also approved.

On February 7, I argued before the Florida Supreme Court to reject this abortion amendment from appearing on the ballot for its violation of state law. Unfortunately, the Court ruled 4-3 to the contrary. Should the amendment appear on November’s ballot, it would enshrine abortion in the state constitution and make the Sunshine State a graveyard for the preborn with virtually no restrictions on abortion if voted on by 60% of Florida voters.

It’s important for Floridians to be aware of this extreme amendment’s broad, destructive implications, and it’s equally as important for Americans nationwide to understand that the far-reaching agenda to put abortion on state ballots does not stop with Florida. Other states, such as Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota, are also being targeted by the pro-abortion movement for abortion measures to appear on ballots in November.

Since the fall of Roe, the pro-life movement is zero-for-seven in abortion-related ballot measures, with losses in California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, Montana, Kansas, and most recently, Ohio. This is partially due to the propagation of lies and fearmongering from the pro-abortion movement to sway even moderately pro-life Americans into siding with abortion.

Of particular concern in the deceptive strategy to enshrine abortion through state ballot initiatives is that the language used often conceals the sweeping scope of the initiatives.

The pro-abortion movement relies heavily on lies and gaslighting for public support because promoting what abortion truly is — the killing of preborn babies — is not a winning message.

To get around this, the pro-abortion movement uses undefined, deceptive terms and euphemisms like “clump of cells,” “women’s health,” and “reproductive freedom” to mislead the masses. The use of vague language was certainly the case for the Florida amendment, and this was one of my arguments against the amendment before the Court earlier this year.

In her dissent to the Court’s opinion, Justice Jamie Grosshans agreed with my argument and laid out just how voters can be easily misled by the deceptive ballot summary for the abortion amendment.

“A voter may think this amendment simply returns Florida to a pre-Dobbs status quo. It does not. A voter may think that a healthcare provider would be clearly defined as a licensed physician specializing in women’s health. It is not. A voter may think that viability falls within a readily apparent time frame. It does not. … And, critically, the voter may think this amendment results in settling this issue once and for all. It does not. Instead, this amendment returns abortion issues back to the courts to interpret scope, boundary, definitions, and policy, effectively removing it from the people and their elected representatives. Perhaps this is a choice that Floridians wish to make, but it should be done with clarity as to their vote’s ramifications and not based on a misleading ballot summary.” 

Justice Renatha Francis reiterated the conflict of the amendment’s ambiguity in her dissent, stating that the amendment is a “Trojan horse for the elimination of any recognition of the State’s interest in protecting what Roe termed ‘potential life.’”

A Trojan horse, indeed.

What the amendment’s ballot summary doesn’t say is that the term “health care provider,” the person who could prescribe a post-viability abortion for “health” reasons, includes nearly 60 professions, including tattoo artist and massage therapist.

It leaves out the fact that every pro-life law in Florida (except potentially the parental notification requirement) would be overruled, paving the way for unrestricted abortion access.

It fails to mention that the amendment would authorize abortion for any reason at any time up to birth and endangers women by removing health and safety regulations.

It also neglects to add that the “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion” language would tie the hands of the legislature from enacting any laws to protect preborn lives or their mothers.

The reality of the abortion amendment in Florida is that it will hurt women and enshrine the “right” to kill children in the Florida Constitution. The amendments on the ballot in other states follow a similar blueprint and would steamroll existing pro-life protections.

I previously warned the Florida amendment would be a “slippery slope to infanticide” and give the “abortion industry license to murder preborn babies without restriction or regulation.” I stand by these words completely and warn Floridians not to be complicit in the pro-abortion movement’s goal to legalize and normalize the genocide of the preborn by voting for this radical amendment.

The preborn are the most vulnerable and marginalized group in the U.S., and we will continue fighting for Florida to remain one of the most pro-life states in the nation and for pro-life protections to be extended to all 50 states.

Editor’s note. This was originally published in The Washington Stand.

Categories: State Legislation