History of the Pro-Life Movement in Florida
The Pro-Life movement began in Florida in early 1971 by Belle Glade physician Dr. John Grady under the name of Florida Right to Life Committee after an initial attempt by pro-legalized-abortion forces to push for a permissive abortion law in the state.
At first introduction of such a law into the Florida legislature in the spring of 1971, individuals Jean Doyle and Arlene Pelzer of Orlando made a trip to Tallahassee to lobby against its passage.
Shortly after, they attended a National Right to Life Committee Convention at McCallister College in St. Paul, Minnesota and brought back plans for a statewide pro-life organization. Permission was granted by Dr. Grady to adopt the pro-life name, platform, and program for statewide action.
The first state board meeting was held in September of 1971 in Orlando. Incorporation as an educational, non-profit organization followed, and existing pro-life organizations were invited to unite with the Florida Right to Life Committee, Inc.
In Spring of 1972, the Florida legislature passed a permissive abortion law. At the same time, pro-legalized-abortion forces, not satisfied with the new law, were attempting to get an abortion-on-demand proposal on the 1972 Florida ballot. Both happenings led to the creation of many new pro-life groups within the state.
Pro-lifers rejoiced at the failure of the abortion-on-demand proposal to get on the Florida ballot, but their relief was short lived because on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States, deciding Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, announced that a new personal liberty existed in the Constitution – the liberty of a woman to kill her unborn child by abortion at any time during the nine months of her pregnancy. The unborn child, thus ignored by the Supreme Court, became identified as a non-person and the fiat of the Supreme Court overturned all U.S. state laws on abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy.
Because of this decision, distinct, living, and whole human beings today have less protection in the United States than at any time since the inception of the country.
The legal situation on abortion also gave great impetus to the euthanasia forces which were beginning to surface. Dr. Walter Sackett, a Florida representative, had repeatedly attempted to get a so-called ‘Death with Dignity’ bill passed in the Florida legislature.
In a later decision on July 1, 1976, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that parents could not veto the abortion decision of their minor daughter, and that a husband could not prevent his wife from having an abortion.
Florida Right to Life is dedicated to supporting legislation that affirms life from conception to natural death, especially by opposing pro-euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation and supporting anti-abortion and pregnancy support bills. To prevent Roe and the subsequent Casey decisions from stopping the people of Florida and their representatives from passing legislation that defends children in the womb, Florida Right to Life supports legislation that aims to reverse the extreme, status quo abortion policy created by the Supreme Court that includes legalization of abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.
Heading up national pro-life activities is the National Right to Life Committee, Inc. in Washington D.C. Its board consists of one representative from each of the 50 states. Strong lines of communication are kept open between the national office and state organizations so that a unified effort may be made to amend the United States Constitution and make abortion illegal and unthinkable again.
Since Florida Right to Life’s beginning, we have worked hard to make sure all human life from fertilization to natural death is respected under law. Here are several examples of our many successes in achieving passage of pro-life bills and opposing legislation that promotes abortion and euthanasia.
Our Successes (from 1971 onwards):
1971: S.B. 124 (pages 87-88), this act allows pregnant students to attend public schools.
1976: H.B. 1218 (pages 24-25): An act related to abortion counseling and referrals. This act required abortion referral groups to provide a “detailed explanation of abortion, including the effects of and alternatives to abortion” as well as ensuring abortion referral groups would not be paid for referring out to an abortionist.
S.B. 60 (pages 530-531): An act related to third-trimester abortion; this law prohibits the procurement of third-trimester abortions unless “two physicians certify in writing to the fact that to a reasonable degree of medical probability the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life or preserve the health of the pregnant woman or the physician certifies in writing to the medical necessity for [the abortion] … and another physician is not available for consultation.” (N.B. Abortion is never medically necessary).
1977: Section 381.493 of Florida statutes amendment (pages 38-39): An amendment related to insurance coverage. This law prevented abortion clinics from being included in the definition of an ‘ambulatory surgical center’ that provides coverage on certain expenses.
Section 166, 462.14 (page 304): This amendment to Florida law ensures the revoking of a doctor’s license if he aids or abets in the procurement of an illegal abortion.
(Note: On page 809, death by ‘criminal abortion’ is noted as something that the medical examiner should investigate, I’m not sure if this refers to the fetus or a mother who may die in an abortion)
934.07 (pages 895-896): This language describes abortion as an issue that certain public officials may authorize an application to a judge for the purpose of being permitted to intercept oral communications by suspect parties.
1978: S.B. 1220 (pages 1054-1058): This law relates to licensing and the standards abortion clinics must meet. It allowed the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services to create minimum standards for the “care and treatment of clients” at an abortion clinic, make available “aftercare services and emergency medical services” in hospitals for post-abortive women, and create provisions for the transportation of women to hospitals after they experience an injury during their abortion. The act also ensured that all abortion clinics in operation would have a “currently effective license” from the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, and this license would have to be purchased and renewed.
1979: Chapter 79-190, 110.242 (page 770): This clause relates to maternity leave, stating: “The state shall not terminate the employment of any employee in the career service when such termination is because of her pregnancy.”
459.004: Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, stipulation (z) (pages 1258-1261): This clause says: “Procuring, aiding or abetting in the procuring of an unlawful termination of pregnancy” is grounds for “disciplinary action; action by the board, etc.”
Chapter 79-302, clauses 2-4 (page 1614): This law requires parental or legal guardian consent for a minor if that minor is seeking an abortion (with exceptions), and allows, if the woman seeking an abortion is married, husband notification regarding her intent to commit an abortion, which allows him to talk to her about the situation (with exceptions). (A similar act would be passed and signed into law again in 1995).
(Cont.) Clause 6 (page 1615): Another law in the state statutes prevents the experimentation on human fetuses prior to and after an abortion.
Clause 7: This is a conscience clause that ensures hospitals will not require employees or cooperating staff to participate in abortions if they do not wish to do so. The violations of this and other clauses would necessitate penalties all listed as third- or second-degree felonies.
1980: Chapter 80-21, S.B. 170 (pages 78-79): This statute allows married and pregnant students to voluntarily continue their education in public schools or choose alternative educational programs that are suited to their needs.
H.B. 1240 (page 1734-1735): This law re-affirmed the ability of the relevant Florida department to regulate the standards for abortion clinics, and also added clauses relating to ensuring an abortion clinic would be as clean as a regular surgical center with sinks in proximity and only sanitary instruments being utilized, human fetal parts would not be kept in an unsanitary and lasting way in the abortion clinic, as well as making, protecting and preserving patient records as organized medical records under Chapter 458.
1981: 708B (page 724): This provides funding for a “statewide improved pregnancy outcome program beginning January 1, 1982.”
1985: H.B. 1338, Clause 9a (page 303): This law ensures “a full continuum of care for pregnant women through health planning and program implementation. Such services may include, but not be limited to, prenatal care, access to low-cost delivery facilities such as birthing centers, obstetric and gynecologic services, and, when necessary, access to neonatal intensive care centers. Additional programs should be developed to provide equal access to medically indigent pregnant women.”
1986: Committee Substitute for House Bill Nos. 1240 and 984, (b) Teenage parent programs (page 641): This clause allows pregnant or parenting students to participate in regular classroom activities and provides exemptions from minimum attendance requirements to accommodate for one’s needs. There are also provisions for maintaining a curriculum that addresses “prenatal and postnatal health care, parenting skills, and child growth and development.” Further, “[a]ancillary services such as childcare, health care, social services, and transportation may be provided through the coordination of existing programs and services.”
1987: 154.011 Primary care service, 9. (4) (page 362): This clause requires every county primary care program to coordinate obstetrical services with the Improved Pregnancy Outcome Program, also ensuring that financially-vulnerable women are not denied access to prenatal care.
1988: H.B. 1668 (page 460-463): This act amended rulemaking responsibilities of the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services as well as clauses that ensured abortions would only be performed by licensed physicians, making and preserving patient records at abortion clinics, providing criminal penalties for not disposing of fetal body parts in a proper, clean and swift manner, etc. This law also amended ‘390.001- Termination of pregnancies’ to include written informed consent of adult women seeking abortion as well as parental consent for an unmarried minor seeking an abortion with the judicial bypass exception.
Section 14.232.246: General requirements for high school graduation (2) (page 2005): Education program that includes “[teaching] abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school age children” and that advising that “abstinence from sexual activity is a certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems.”
1989: 409.029: Florida Employment Opportunity Act (page 2115): This act ensures the development of a strategic plan that evaluates the existing programs, services and other resources that help provide for the needs of pregnant and parenting teenagers.
Committee Substitute for H.B. 1818 (page 2531): This provides for the transportation of pregnant and parenting students, requiring transportation as a part of teenage parenting programs.
Sec. 1, Ch. 411 (5) (page 2535): This revision of law includes “comprehensive prenatal care, accessible to all pregnant women and proved for high-risk pregnant women” as well as a “new mother information program”, and adoption counseling.
402.45 (1) (page 2559): This clause establishes a ‘community resource mother or father program’, which was made to enhance the skills of mothers and fathers in parenting as home educators as well as improve social support.
Sec. 11. Sec. 383.013 of Florida Statutes (1) (page 2561): amended to “Provide a statewide prenatal care program for low-income pregnant women, which includes early, regular prenatal care by practitioners trained in prenatal care and delivery”.
1990: H.B. 3629 (page 2770): This act requires abortion clinics to submit monthly reports that include details on the number of abortions performed and the gestational age of the baby at which the abortion was completed.
1991: S.B. 860 (page 1944-1945): This act provides for prenatal care and necessary medical treatments and provisions for women who are pregnant and incarcerated.
Committee Substitute for S.B.’s 1000, 1234, and 2158 (page 2610): These amendments increased licensure fees for abortion clinics and fees for certain abortion clinics.
Amending the duties and powers of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, 5(e) (page 2629): This new rule created in each county public health unit a ‘Healthy Start Care Coordination Program’ to help coordinate assistance via the department in serving the needs of pregnant women, infants, and families.
1993: Section 408.905, Florida Statutes, (2) (page 702): This update in the state law ensured that the MedAccess program would not designate pregnancy as a ‘pre-existing condition’ which the state could exclude from coverage.
Chapter 93-210, Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 767, 3 (i) (page 2095): This version of a passed and signed act related to education ensures that the “benefits of sexual abstinence” will be taught in a one-half credit, mandated high school course on life management skills.
Level 7, 784.045(1)(b), Felony Degree: 2nd, (page 2934): An update to the criminal laws of Florida that includes a second-degree felony for “aggravated battery; perpetrator aware victim pregnant.”
1994: Funding for health warning signs for alcoholic beverages, Expenses, Section 1A, 236 (page 2933), that reads: “HEALTH WARNING: Alcohol In Beer, Wine Coolers, Wine and Liquor Can Cause Intoxication, Addiction, Birth Defects. Reduce Your Risks: Do Not Drink Before Driving or Operating Machinery. Do Not Mix Alcohol with Other Drugs (It Can Be Fatal). Do Not Drink During Pregnancy.” (Italics added.)
1995: Ch. 95-147, (2) (b) (page 299): This clause ensures that an individual who is in the custody of the Health and Rehabilitative Services Department will not be forced by the department to undergo “sterilization, abortion, or termination of life support.”
A Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 1627, Part IV, Childhood Pregnancy Prevention Public Education Program, 411.241, or the “Florida Education Now and Babies Later (ENABL) Act” (page 2864): This act established a public-private sector partnership to encourage children to abstain from sexual activity (outside of marriage).
1996: Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 200, (page 800): This piece of legislation required the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services to “provide the local sheriff’s office with reports of child abuse involving impregnation of a child under 16 years of age by a person 21 years of age or older”; this act also defined a separate act of child abuse and a level 7 offense or a third degree felony as a person 21 years of age or older impregnating a child under the age of 16.
1997: S.B. No. 180 (pages 1-2): This act prevents minors from participating in adult entertainment/entertainment involving nudity.
Ch. 97-101, (6) (page 36): Provision in the state Health Department’s rules stating: Expand, to the extent possible, training of state and local health providers in programs and practices pertaining to improved pregnancy outcomes.
Section 102, 402.321, (4) (page 55): This clause in the Florida Health Department’s rules requires that “School health services shall not promote elective termination of pregnancy as a part of counseling services”.
Ch. 97-151, Committee Substitute for H.B. No. 1205: This act, called the “Woman’s Right-To-Know Act”, relates to informed consent when a woman wants to procure an abortion and has other stipulations. The law reiterates that third trimester abortions are illegal in Florida with exceptions. It also ensures that written informed consent be acquired from an adult woman seeking an abortion, and to be fully informed, she must be notified by the abortionist or the referring physician of:
- a. The nature and risks of undergoing or not undergoing the proposed procedure that a reasonable patient would consider material to making a knowing and willful decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy.
- The probable gestational age of the fetus at the time the termination of pregnancy is to be performed.
- The medical risks to the woman and fetus of carrying the pregnancy to term.
- Printed materials prepared and provided by the department have been provided to the pregnant woman, if she chooses to view these materials, including:
- A description of the fetus.
- A list of agencies that offer alternatives to terminating the pregnancy.
- Detailed information on the availability of medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care.
- The woman acknowledges in writing, before the termination of pregnancy, that the information required to be provided under this subsection has been provided.
This act also mandates a ‘standard of medical care’ to be administered when the preborn child has reached the age of ‘viability’ outside the womb, which includes a stipulation for the abortionist to “use that degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the fetus which such person would be required to exercise in order to preserve the life and health of any fetus intended to be born and not.”
The act additionally ensures that no experimentation on a live preborn human person will be committed. It also provides grounds for criminal prosecution if the killed human fetus is not disposed of “in accordance with department rules”, as it is defined as a misdemeanor of the second degree. The law further provides a ‘conscience clause’ to make sure any person who does not wish to participate in an abortion procedure will not have to. It also allows the department to inspect an abortion clinic before licensing it and may conduct further investigations as needed.
1998: Chapter 98-1, Committee Substitute for H.B. No. 1227: This act was made law in order to revise Florida Statutes related to abortion to ensure that no partial-birth abortions occur in the state of Florida, with certain exceptions, and allows for the father or maternal grandparents to receive compensation in a civil action if the mother illegally procures a partial-birth abortion.
Committee Substitute for H.B. 3145: This act established a two-year pilot program for pregnant women who are vulnerable to HIV infection that would encourage women to seek prenatal care, provide sustained assistance to those with HIV-exposed newborns, etc.
1999: H.B. 509: This act created the ‘Choose Life’ license plates that you see on our Florida highways and streets today!
Section 402.3016 (1) (c): Amendment to Florida Statutes: This act ensures that the Florida Partnership for School Readiness will establish a program to award grants to local agencies that meet certain requirements, which include “[ensuring] that a comprehensive array of health, nutritional, and other services are provided to the program’s pregnant women and very young children, and their families.”
Committee Substitute for S.B. 1598: Parental Notice of Abortion Act: This act was passed in response to the Florida Supreme Court ruling that parental consent to a minor daughter’s abortion was unconstitutional because of a supposed constitutional right to privacy. This law was meant to replace the struck-down parental consent law (while not being struck-down itself) by ensuring that a minor would not be able to have an abortion unless she or the referring physician gives notice of her intent to get an abortion to one parent or a legal guardian, with exceptions including a judicial waiver procedure.
2000: S.B. No. 160, or “the Partial-Birth Abortion Act”, this act updates Florida Statutes to better define a partial-birth abortion and reiterates it’s prohibition and that its performance by a physician will result in him or her being charged with a second-degree felony. This law would be reaffirmed when Congress enacted a similar law in 2003 (which would be held up as constitutional in a 2007 Supreme Court ruling); it made the evil of partial-birth abortion illegal across the country. The Los Angeles Times describes the gruesome act in a 1995 news story:
The procedure requires a physician to extract a fetus, feet first, from the womb and through the birth canal until all but its head is exposed. Then the tips of surgical scissors are thrust into the base of the fetus’ skull, and a suction catheter is inserted through the opening and the brain is removed.
Committee Substitute for H.B. 1901, this act allows parents in the state of Florida to leave their newborn infant at a hospital or fire station and remain anonymous and protected from prosecution for abandonment.
2001: Committee Substitute for H.B. 141, this act related to adoption and child support ensures the subsidization of “[r]reasonable living expenses of the birth mother which the birth mother is unable to pay due to unemployment, underemployment, or disability due to the pregnancy which is certified by a medical professional who has examined the birth mother, or any other disability defined in s. 110.215. Reasonable living expenses are rent, utilities, basic telephone service, food, necessary clothing, transportation, and expenses found by the court to be necessary for the health of the unborn child.” It also ensures that an agreement involving a surrogate pregnancy does not include the requirement of an abortion by the woman carrying the baby.
Committee Substitute for S.B. 1558, this law ensures penalties for a physician who is “[p]procuring, or aiding or abetting in the procuring of, an unlawful termination of pregnancy.”
2002: S.B. 592, this act allows the Florida Department of Children and Family Services to “enter into interstate agreements with agencies of other states to protect children for whom it provides adoption assistance.” It also ensures explicit procedures for interstate children’s adoption-assistance payments.
2003: S.B. 2082, this act ensures that a health practitioner who possess a deceased human fetus’ body (under 20 weeks gestational age) following “a spontaneous fetal demise”, or miscarriage, must notify the mother of her option of burial or cremation of the child.
H.B. 835, Section 31, 63.167: State adoption information center, clause (1), this update in Florida state laws ensures the establishment of a “state adoption information center for the purpose of increasing public knowledge about adoption and promoting to adolescents and pregnant women the availability of adoption services. The department shall contract with one or more licensed child-placing agencies to operate the state adoption information center.”
2004: H.B. 221, This act prohibits assisting or facilitating, through a variety of means, in a ‘self-murder’ or suicide.
S.B. 1962, this law specifies elements of a criminal nature related to human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, including “[U]sing or threatening to use physical force against that person or another person”, “Any person who knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means a person, knowing that force, fraud, or coercion will be used to cause that person to engage in prostitution, commits the offense of sex trafficking, a felony of the second degree”, etc. Abortion and sex-trafficking are highly-related, as demonstrated by the organization Live Action in these videos.
House Joint Resolution No. 1, this resolution created Section 22 of Article 10 of the State Constitution that ensured single parent or guardian notification of a minor’s intention to abort her preborn child before the abortion. This was submitted to the voters via a ballot initiative in November 2004. It was approved by Florida voters on that ballot.
2005: H.B. 1659, this act clarified stipulations of the parental notification of abortion legislation and provided disciplinary action for violation. These clauses included the ‘actual notice’ involving a direct notice in-person or over the phone at least 48 hours before the abortion.
H.B. 1041, this law, also called the ‘Women’s Health and Safety Act’, ensures more safe environments in abortion clinics (for the mother). It includes a re-affirmation that abortions can only be performed by licensed physicians, keeping, and protecting of patient records, and a stipulation that first trimester abortion clinics must have rules “comparable to rules that apply to all surgical procedures requiring approximately the same degree of skill and care as the performance of first trimester abortions.” The Women’s Health and Safety Act subjects post-first trimester abortion clinics to various regulations, including an “adequate private space that is specifically designated for interviewing, counseling, and medical evaluations”, “Areas for preprocedural hand washing”, “Surgical or gynecological examination tables and other fixed equipment”, “Emergency exits to accommodate a stretcher or gurney”, etc. There are also rules related to abortion clinic personnel, including the requirement of an abortion clinic’s acting medical director licensed to practice medicine in the state and has admitting privileges at a licensed hospital in Florida, surgical assistants receive training in counseling, patient advocacy, and other responsibilities, etc. There are also rules regarding the medical screening and evaluation of each mother seeking an abortion, including the attainment of the client’s medical history including reported allergies to medications, antiseptic solutions, past surgeries, etc. as well as an ultrasound requirement for all women seeking an abortion after the first trimester. There are regulations in the act on appropriate use of equipment and drugs during the abortion as well as care for women immediately after and hours/days following the abortion, including a required post-abortion medical visit that includes a medical examination.
H.B. 233, this act amends an existing state statute to ensure the prosecution of someone who kills an unborn ‘quick’ or viable child under DUI manslaughter to the same degree as the prosecution for the mother’s death.
2007: Council Substitute for H.B. 1309, this act established an Office of Adoption and Child Protection for “purposes of establishing a comprehensive statewide approach for the promotion of adoption, support of adoptive families, and prevention of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect.” The acting ‘Chief Child Advocate’ had been tasked with working with the Governor/his staff on advising public and private sectors on issues related to adoption and the support of those families adopting.
2008: H.B. 7007, this act relates to existing legislation on parental immunity and rights when surrendering their newborn to a hospital, emergency medical services facility or fire station. It raises the age in which an infant can be surrendered to a local agency and affirms the ‘absolute right’ of the mother to remain anonymous in this situation, except for the case of child abuse.
2011: H.B. 501, this law relates to the Choose Life license plates, allowing the annual use fees to be facilitated to Choose Life, Inc. and provides the organization with the ability to distribute their funds to non-governmental, non-profit agencies that assist certain pregnant mother and to promote their program to more Florida citizens.
Committee Substitute for H.B. 1127, this act relates to informed consent and ultrasound of a woman seeking an abortion. It ensures that the mother will be informed about the risks of the abortion, the gestational age of the human fetus, and will be offered an opportunity to view the ultrasound of her child and have a physician or nurse explain the images to her, though she may decline this last right. Written materials are also provided to the mother, if she chooses to read them, which include information on the development of the human fetus, a list of entities that offer alternatives to abortion, and the prenatal, birth, and neonatal care benefits offered by the state government and its affiliates.
Committee Substitute for House Joint Resolution 1179, this would create a new clause in the state constitution that would generally prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion and prevent the state constitution from being interpreted by the courts to entail broader rights to abortion than those stipulations in the U.S. Constitution. This resolution was passed and submitted to the voters on their 2012 general ballot where it ultimately did not reach the necessary 60 percent approval threshold.
2012: S.B. 524, this act ensures that an incarcerated mother who is in labor, delivery or postpartum recovery will not be physically restrained, with exceptions.
2013: Committee Substitute for H.B. 1129, this act amends a previous statute, ensuring that an infant ‘born alive’ after an abortion attempt is entitled to “the same rights, powers, and privileges as any other child born alive in the course of natural birth; requiring health care practitioners to preserve the life and health of such an infant born alive, if possible”. It also provides for the child’s access to a hospital for life-preserving treatment after his or her birth/the failed abortion. Failure to comply with this law results in a first-degree misdemeanor, and a report on the number of infants born alive is required and must be completed by the director of the abortion clinic.
2014: Committee Substitute for H.B. 1047, this act amends existing language in Florida statutes related to abortion, including ensuring that no third trimester abortion be performed on a mother with exceptions, including in the case of an ‘emergency’ or two physicians determine that the abortion “is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition” (again, abortion is never medically necessary). Violations of this act are punishable as felonies of the third degree, and, if the mother dies because of the abortion, then that adds a felony of the second degree to the charges brought against the abortionist. Further, if the human fetus achieves viability, or a state in which he or she can survive outside the womb with the help of medical technology, abortion will not be permitted unless one (in case of an ‘emergency’) or two physicians view the human fetus as a substantial risk to the mother’s life or health. An abortion of a human fetus after viability or in the third trimester is stated as only legal within a hospital setting.
Committee Substitute for H.B. 59: This act, also called the Florida Unborn Victims of Violence Act, relates to existing statutes prohibiting the killing of a human fetus, outside of an abortion situation. It stipulates that anyone who causes the death or bodily injury to an unborn child “commits a separate offense if the provision or statute does not otherwise specifically provide a separate offense for such death or injury to an unborn child”, except in the case of an abortion. It also ensures that reparations/penalties will be enacted even if the perpetrator did not know that the mother was pregnant or did not intend injury or harm to the human fetus. Various penalties for multiple acts of harm against the preborn child ranging in severity within existing statutes result in charges ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
2015: H.B. 633, this act relates to informed patient consent, requiring a physician performing an abortion to provide in-person, important information about the procedure and its risks as well as fetal development at least 24 hours before the abortion.
Committee Substitute for H.B. 269, or the ‘Right to Try Act’, removes penalties for experimental treatment or non-FDA approved methods of treatment (for the public) of terminal patients.
2016: Committee Substitute for H.B. 1411, this act amends existing statutes related to abortion and disposal of human fetal remains, among other issues related to abortion. It better outlines the trimesters of pregnancy from fertilization until birth, stipulates the penalty for a failure to properly dispose of legal remains as a first-degree misdemeanor, restricts state agencies under part four of chapter 409 from initiating or renewing a contract with an abortion clinic with exceptions. It also better explains the procedures for monthly reporting of abortion totals, allowing for patient confidentiality and electronic submission. Annual inspections of abortion clinics to ensure their legal compliance is required under these statutes.
2017: Committee Substitute for H.B. 101, or the Grieving Families Act, ensures that the parent of a human fetus who died in the womb from a miscarriage between 10 and 19 weeks gestation may receive a certificate of death or nonviable birth which will be filed with the state registrar office.
2018: Committee Substitute for H.B. 41, this act ensures the Florida Department of Health’s support of non-profit pregnancy resource centers that support both mother and baby before and after birth.
Successfully opposed: HB-1339 or Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, this bill pushed by the Hemlock Society allows physicians to use a checkbox formatted POLST form and present questions to an individual who may not be fully capable of understanding the extent/gravity of the questions, leading to a lack of proper and ethical end-of-life care of an individual.
SB-274 or a bill related to ‘Hospice Care’, this bill would have changed the scope of hospice palliative care services from being only for terminally ill people who are in the final days of their life to also include people defined as “seriously ill”, which often really means easily treatable illnesses like COPD or diabetes. By allowing them to be subjected to palliative care, someone with diabetes may be harmed from controlled substances like morphine, which can hasten death. There are accounts from family members detailing hospice ‘care’ as involving “terminal sedation” and the denial of water and food to people who need it.
2019: Successfully opposed:
SB-592 or Exempting the Terminally Ill from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, this bill would have made not only terminally ill persons, but also people with chronic illnesses, who can live for an indefinite period of time if treated properly, to not have their opioid medication first checked by a doctor to make sure the patient would not overdose on too great a quantity of opioids, leading to potentially substantial increases in covert euthanasia in Florida.
SB-206 or Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, this bill was another version of 2018’s unsuccessful HB-1339, pushing for hastened and unnecessary death of vulnerable, elderly patients.
SCR-266 or the Equal Rights Amendment, this is a federal Constitutional Amendment that has been resurrected (with the support of pro-abortion organizations like NARAL, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood) to invalidate laws that treat abortion differently from other ‘medical procedures’ because, since abortions are only accessible to women, it would supposedly be ‘discriminatory’ to women to prevent them from procuring abortions.
2020: Committee Substitute for H.B. 1259, this act ensures that a pregnant incarcerated person will not be involuntarily placed in restrictive housing, with exceptions.
Committee Substitute for S.B. 404, this act ensures that a physician must obtain written consent from a parent or legal guardian before performing an abortion on a minor. Though a similar bill was passed in 1989, a Florida Supreme Court decision struck it down in the same year. The act was successfully passed again in 2020 in the hopes that the Florida Supreme Court, now more conservative with three of Governor DeSantis’s judges on the bench, will uphold this reasonable piece of legislation and its affirmation of parental rights and the dignity of the unborn.
SB-1800 or the so-called “Death with Dignity” Act, this failed bill would have authorized physician-assisted suicide in the state of Florida, which means that a physician could provide lethal drugs to a requesting patient who has a six-month life expectancy and considers his or her life “burdensome”.
SCR-293 or the Equal Rights Amendment, this amendment was thankfully again not approved.
2021: Successfully opposed:
SB-1154 or an abortifacient related bill that would have established a “Hormonal Long-acting Reversible Contraception Program” within the Florida Department of Health, providing tax-payer funding for “family planning providers” (which may have included Planned Parenthood) it. This bill was promoted to bring down the number of abortions, but the contraceptive devices in many cases act as abortifacients by preventing implantation of the embryo in the uterus, but not conception (the scientifically verified beginning of a new human life). Further, increasing the use of contraception leads to more abortions as a rise in out-of-wedlock sexual activity occurs and an abortion-mentality sets in. This bill did pass, but Governor DeSantis rightfully vetoed the program and saved unborn lives by doing so.
Long-standing Pro-Life Legislation: Florida Pregnancy Support Services Program (FPSSP), an annual appropriation passed repeatedly since 2005 (though funding for pregnant/parenting related resources had been funded by the state government long before that year). This recurring piece of legislation appropriates funding for the FPSSP to coordinate the efforts and improve pregnancy help centers across Florida in promoting their life-affirming resources such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, maternal and baby supplies, among other resources for women who need them.
2021 – the Florida legislature considered a bill that would have limited abortion at 20 weeks of gestation (approximately 18 weeks post-fertilization), when unborn babies can feel pain. However, the bill did not make it out of committee.