Republican State Lawmakers Say Florida Will ‘Defend Life,’ Agree With SCOTUS That States Should Regulate Abortions

By Lydia Nusbaum, Florida's Voice

June 24, 2022 Updated 12:31 PM ET

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June 24, 2022 Updated 12:30 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Reactions poured in from Florida elected officials after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, giving the states the power to regulate abortions. 

Incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said Florida will “continue to defend life” and celebrated the SCOTUS decision giving “states rights to do what is right.”

“I put a high value on life, and we’ve passed many measures in Florida to protect unborn life, promote adoption, and support parents who choose life for their babies,” Passidomo said

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, said he is grateful for the decision, especially being an adopted child. 

“The court is finally righting a grievous wrong,” Simpson said. “It’s hard to believe we live in a country that has permitted the murder of 63 million innocent children over the last 50 years. Every abortion kills a human being made in the image and likeness of God who deserves the chance to grow up in a loving family.”

Incoming House Speaker Rep. Paul Renner said Florida will “continue to pursue legislation that honors the sanctity of life.”

Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, pointed to Florida’s new law (HB 5) that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Exceptions to the ban include if the mother’s life is in danger. 

“I have been and will always continue to be unmovable on the need to protect unborn life,” Sprowls said. “This past session, we passed House Bill 5, the most impactful legislation signed into law in our state’s history to protect babies starting at 15 weeks’ gestation and reduce infant mortality.”

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The new law is set to take effect on July 1st, but is facing a lawsuit. The Florida constitution recognizes a right to privacy, which could provide a hurdle for the law.

“In Florida, our attention must now shift to the state courts and the Florida Supreme Court as they evaluate HB 5 and determine its constitutionality here – an additional hurdle present in our state,” Sprowls said.

While Sprowls wants to focus on the current Florida abortion ban law moving through state courts, other groups and lawmakers believe Florida should take steps now. 

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini wants a special session for Florida lawmakers to pass the heartbeat bill. 

The pro-life group, Florida Voice for the Unborn, requested Gov. Ron DeSantis immediately call a Special Session to ban all abortions in Florida.

The group’s executive director said lawmakers should not be held “hostage” by what the state courts may or may not do.

“The Florida Supreme Court – like the U.S. Supreme Court – has moved in a much more conservative direction recently and is likely to eventually correct its misinterpretation of the Florida constitution so that Florida can thoroughly prohibit abortion,” Andrew Shirvell said.

Florida Voice for the Unborn Calls on Immediate Special Session to Ban All Abortions in State

Democrat Leader Evan Jenne, D-Hollywood, stood vehemently against the SCOTUS decision, saying it will encourage “unsafe, underground” abortions. 

“The majority of Americans, and Floridians, want there to be access to abortion services. A loud minority has pushed its extremist agenda all the way to the Supreme Court, and millions will suffer because of it,” Jenne said. 

Democrat Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, called the decision “devastating.”

“For Floridians, today’s decision ratifies the radical and dangerous legislation jammed through the state government by Republicans and clears the path for a full ban of all abortions in our state, without exceptions for rape or incest,” Driskell said. 

Rep. Randy Fine applauded the SCOTUS decision as a win for voters. 

“The values of the voters are what should come into account with these kinds of decisions. I was proud last session to be a co-sponsor and to speak in favor of and to vote for HB 5,” Fine said. 

Republican Senator Kelli Stargel looked back at her own experience with an unplanned teenage pregnancy in a statement. 

“I know first hand that all too often our culture condones and even promotes the murder of innocent children as a means to freedom and equality as a way to show empathy for women facing difficult or unplanned situations,” Stargel said. “In my view, as we move forward, our work to foster a culture that supports life, children, parents and families is even more important.”

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Florida’s Voice is a patriotic news network that you can trust to deliver the truth with no hidden agenda. Founder and Editor in Chief Brendon Leslie left his job in mainstream news to practice journalism as it should be, unbiased and unbossed.

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