Gov. Ron DeSantis went to church Thursday to sign a 15-week abortion ban into law during a ceremony bearing many of the accoutrements of a worship service.
“We are there to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” the governor told an enthusiastic crowd at the Nacion de Fe church in Kissimmee.
“This will represent the most significant protections for life that have been enacted in this state in a generation,” he said.
The American Civil Liberties Union immediately promised to challenge the law in court.
“Make no mistake: If this abortion ban goes into effect, it would have devastating consequences for pregnant people, especially those who are not able to afford to travel out of state in search of the essential health care they need,” legislative director Kara Gross said in a written statement.
“Nobody should be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will. We will take swift legal action to protect Floridians’ rights and defend against this cruel attack on our bodily autonomy.”
The new law (HB 5) bans abortions after 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest, although they would be allowed in cases of severe fetal abnormality. Abortion rights advocates argue that it is blatantly unconstitutional under existing U.S. Supreme Court precedents including Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood. The 15-week ban in Florida takes effect on July 1.
That gives the justices time to rule in a constitutional challenge to a similar law from Mississippi before they take their summer break around the end of June. That court’s new Republican supermajority is widely expected to uphold the Mississippi statute, either by overruling those precedents or trimming them into oblivion.
The Florida Supreme Court is also in play here. It ruled in 1989 that an abortion-consent law for minors was unconstitutional because it violated privacy provisions in the state Constitution. The new state Supreme Court, with three justices appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, is far more conservative than the court that upheld the right to privacy and hasn’t by shy about overturning its own precedents.
The bill-signing event in Central Florida included a large, enthusiastic crowd that broke into cheers and waved signs saying, “Pro Life.” It featured witness testimony from women who’d undergone abortions and regretted it and others who’d refused abortions and did not regret it.
The ceremony stood in stark contrast to two years ago, when DeSantis announced that he’d signed an abortion parental-consent bill via a press release that tucked it among 14 separate pieces of legislation while holding a public bill-signing ceremony for two water-quality measures.
On Thursday, there was much talk of prayer, including from Erin Grall, a Republican representing Indian River and part of St. Lucie counties who sponsored the legislation in the House. She thanked people who prayed for her as the legislation advanced during the recent legislative session and those “who are praying every day to end the horrific abortions that plague our country.”
Grall, an attorney, referred to those U.S. Supreme Court precedents during the bill-signing ceremony.
“The reality of the Roe decision is that men on the Supreme Court proclaimed that women, in order to achieve equality with men, must be able to kill their own children. As a woman, I refuse to accept such a perverse version of equality,” Grall said.
Senate sponsor Kelli Stargel, representing portions of Lake and Polk counties, remarked that “we’re looking at the potential of Roe v. Wade being overturned,” adding, “hopefully, in the future, there will be no abortions.”
Also on hand were Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, who called DeSantis “the most pro-life governor in America.” So, too, was Simone Marstiller, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, which regulates abortion clinics.
Sprowls continued: “Like many of you, I believe that life is a gift from God. And, as I look out into this audience, I see many familiar faces who have been warriors on the front lines of the life movement, whether it is … ministering to young women, whether it is helping them as they give birth to their child in pregnancy centers across this state. You have been a part of this as much as every single legislator here and for that we are very grateful.
Reaction was swift.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried, running in the Democratic primary to oppose DeSantis this fall, issued a written statement:
“This law is a despicable and disgusting assault on women. It’s an insult to our dignity and our ability to make these deeply personal decisions about our own lives, and it will have a devastating impact on the physical and emotional health of women across Florida,” Fried said.
“The hypocrisy of Republicans who love to brag about how ‘free’ our state is while pushing a law that will literally force women and girls to give birth is absolutely outrageous. This law is a direct attack on women’s constitutional rights, and it’s cruel, extreme, and inhumane,” Fried said.
On Twitter, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, also in the Democratic primary, called the law “an unconstitutional attack on women that strips away their reproductive freedom. Women should make decisions about their own bodies, not governors. I’d veto this bill and any attempt to restrict the right to choose. Full stop.
State Sen. Annette Taddeo, another Democrat running for governor, issued her own written statement.
“We are less free today than before the session started,” it reads.
“As Latin American countries like Colombia are moving forward and expanding access to health care, we’re moving backward in Florida. Gov. DeSantis has just signed into law an extreme bill that was made even crueler by the rejections to provide exemptions for victims of rape, human trafficking, and incest.”
Not ‘moderate or fair’
Lauren Book of Broward County, leader of the Senate Democrats, said DeSantis had “forced the women of Florida back 50 years,” before Roe.
“This is not a “moderate” or fair bill if a woman or girl must live with the consequence of someone else’s actions, revictimized by the decisions of Florida’s right-wing GOP,” she said in a written statement.
“Without access to safe and legal procedures, a woman’s life and her liberty are severely endangered. This is nothing more than an authoritarian move by Florida Republicans. Florida will never be free while lawmakers turn a blind eye to women’s rights, victims’ rights, and to the decent and basic needs of our citizens.
However, Andrew Shirvell, founder and executive director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, offered praise.
“This truly historic law will annually save an estimated 5,000 unborn children from being murdered here in Florida via brutal late-term abortions. Florida Voice for the Unborn anticipates that any legal challenges to the legislation – whether brought in federal or state court – will ultimately be unsuccessful,” Shirvell said in a written statement.
–Michael Moline, Florida Phoenix
Quite Frankly there is no excuse to get pregnant. Secondly try absentinance. Stop running around like those of Sodom and Gomorrah and get some morals. No one is perfect I get it. But to run around like dogs in heat because it feels good INCLUDING MEN! Keep it in your pants. There are consequences when you just do what you want. Pregnancy is the least of your concerns. Diseases that can kill you would be just as scary. VAIDS are going to be the next disease you will and should worry about. Next time you are acting like dogs in heat think about what if your mother aborted you or what kind of DISEASES are you going to catch. Just some friendly advice. FOR GOD SAKES GET SOME CLASS AND MORALS. GO TO CHURCH START UNDERSTANDING THE LAW OF GOD. Without law there is karma.
LMAO! “think about what if your mother aborted you”, if my Mother aborted me I wouldn’t know it and neither would you.
Tom H says
Funny, I went to church and learned morals, but I got raped and Ron DeSantis is making me carry the baby. (this didn’t happen, purely rhetorical)
It’s okay, I can see how it’s hard to see the point from up there on your high horse.
Can I beat my kid if he gets disruptive in church and pees in his little boy pants?
Spare the rod, spoil the child?
God’s laws right? Maybe He can turn pregnant women into pillars of salt.
But they’d be awful high in sodium afterward!
Did you conceive immaculately, Mondexmomma? Details, please…
Hasta la vista.
Have you not heard of RAPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean in the Bible per Exodus 21 it talks about why slavery is ok and how to trick slaves to be your property forever. Per the Bible God is perfectly ok with people owner slaves. If this is what morals is, then I’m good. Also don’t type in all caps, that’s what a boomer does.
You nailed it, Mondexmomma!! Great post!
Okay, a few questions for the Emperor. These babies that will not be wanted by their mother:what happens when they are found in a dumpster? Once the child is born, who will pick up the cost for the support of the child once it is turned over to Child Services (hopefully)? I have an idea for all these so-called Pro Lifers; I think you should all get together, with your churches and other organizations to “finance” these kids. You should be obligated to sign a committed contract stating that you will pay monthly charges for birth, hospital fees, medical attention and Healthcare, Education, Food and Lodging until that child is either adopted or attains the age of 18. In other words, put your money where your mouth is! I’ll wait. It’s easy to support something when you don’t have to give anything of yourself to prove just how much you believe in “the cause”. This is an extremely short sighted law with no thought to consequences it will have on the Florida taxpayers, not to mention the heavier burden on an already over crowded Child Services and Group Homes. And as usual, when the “you know what” hits the fan and this becomes a bigger disaster than what it already is, Duh Santis will blame anyone and anything other than himself for his own stupidity. And the dolts will just nod their heads and remain in their fog!!
Nothing has really changed. The option for abortion is still there. If you are going to get one just don’t wait 15 weeks. Then the concerns you presented for those unwanted babies goes out the window. If you come back with well why should they have make a decision that quick. Well let’s wait and let people make that decision when the child is 2 or 3 years old….. How about when they are 16? I know there were times when my kids where 16 I wished they were not around.
Why can’t they get their abortion in the first 15 weeks?
Thank goodness says
So your solution is “they will cost money so kill them”?? How about we just practice good moral judgement and dont get get pregnant(that is directed equally to men as far as getting a woman pregnant)-maybe do what the rest of responsible America does .Ya know-meet your partner, get married and after you’ve PLANNED and can financially afford then CONSIDER having children and getting pregnant. Its not a mystery-I was aware at a pretty young age exactly HOW children are made .I had no advantage over anybody else. I chose to keep it in my pants till the right time. Good old fashion morale would correct 95% of this phenomenon. Look at the rate of unwanted pregnancies in comparison to many many years ago when people had wholesome family values rather using abortion as a form of birth control
Mary Fusco says
How about people start taking responsibility for their actions. Abortion is NOT birth control. It is murder. How about these dolts keep it in their pants or stay on their feet so that society is not burdened with their couple of minutes of pleasure. The bill is not saying you cannot have an abortion but not after 15 weeks. 15 weeks is probably 3 missed periods. A woman knows if she is pregnant or not by then. Why would a woman wait until she is 6 months pregnant to have an abortion? Stop the dramatics.
Susan E Sisk says
As someone who was adopted, I commend Florida for this new ruling…..as far as saying who will care for these children??? There are thousands upon thousands of couples who would love to have the chance to love, raise and nurture a child!!! There are better alternatives than killing your own child!!
A woman does not have to keep the baby. There is a waiting list for couples who want to adopt. Your argument is illogical and not founded in reality.
Is there a waiting list to adopt 800,000 newborns every year?
When will there be Birth Control Pills for men?
What Else Is New says
Thank you, Enough Says. Your comments are exactly the feelings of the sensible among us. The unprecedented hypocrisy of DuhSantis is in line with Republican legislators and their ilk who care nothing for children as proven time and again… lack of signing Medicaid expansion, gun control, homelessness among families with children, abortion are denied when children are victims of incest and rape. Shame on the Governor and his sheeple legislators.
I have a question for all those who oppose abortion. How many babies are you going to adopt or have adopted? If your answer is none then you should shut up and go back to your brainwashed, cult hole. You and I know that the minute one of these Politian’s daughter, sister, wife, mistress or mother is raped or has an unwanted pregnancy, they will get an abortion.
You anti-choice people only care about a fetus, but once that baby is born you don’t give two shits about them.
You are so right.
About 800,000 abortions per year and only about 100,000 adoptions. Are RepubliCons and especially DUH-Santis going to step up and adopt any of these unwanted pregnancies? Are they going to expand adoption services in Florida and encourage adoptions? All they’re doing is dancing for Votes from a dwindling base, the same base that if they need an adoption they’ll find a way to do it. No where in the Bible does it mention abortion, no where.
You nailed it MondexMomma!
Enough says- you don’t offer a solution; it sounds like you advocate expanding social programs and have government raise the children.
DeathSantis rides again. He will do anything to make himself look as though he knows what he is doing, he never looks at the whole picture of the outcome. He doesn’t care about the people in the state he governs only himself. Wake up people he is out for himself.
Here we go again the Cult GOP Republicans telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body. How about holding the men accountable that got the woman pregnant to begin with, you never hear the Cult GOP Republicans talk about that. Next thing they will tell woman how to dress how to speak their control is endless.
It is time politicians stay out of decisions a woman should be able to make for herself. DeathSantis needs to be more concerned about the issues he is ignoring in his own backyard.
The pollution in the waterways, the wildlife dying because of the lack of him taking a stance on the climate changes. He never addresses those issues.
“DeSantis” is Latin for “to make sacred.”
We have a saying in Spanish which applies to your gov-nuh:
“He sure eats saintly, but he sure poops out demons.”
OK to delete the following, Flaglerlive…
Come santos y caga diablos.
Biologically a fertilized egg is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree. Most fertilized eggs fail, for natural reasons, to survive, grow and, become a person. The actual point at which a fetus can be considered to be a person is subject to debate. Fetal quickening is typically at 17 weeks. By 20 weeks there is typically spontaneous brain activity. However, it is not until about 28 weeks that sleep patterns develop with dreams.
In Roe v. Wade, the Court used fetal viability outside a woman as the cutoff gestational age (about 22 weeks). Because a person is considered dead (brain dead) once spontaneous brain activity ceases, it would be consistent to regard the beginning personhood at 20 weeks. The decision to have an abortion must be made by the person (woman) who is affected by the pregnancy. Any female who is a minor (cannot give consent) or did not give consent to having sex (rape), must be afforded the opportunity of an abortion as soon as possible at no cost.
The only male that I think should have any say as to a woman having an abortion is her husband. All the rest are just sperm donors.
Mr. DeSantis has been loudly proclaiming to be pro-freedom. He has denounced mask mandates and vaccine mandates. He has turned anti-business in doing so. He has blasted the “woke” Disney company. His administration seems to be all in for the full employment of lawyers. In the spirit of his claimed call for personal freedom, how about allowing a women to control their own bodies?
Will parents be able to get health insurance for their unborn fetus? How about life insurance? How about claiming unborn fetus as a dependent? Child support?
Don’t like abortions, can U stop a woman from getting pregnant? No I can’t, why stop them from having an abortion. It is their life let them live their life. White people men in particular are always trying to run other people’s lives. These Republican people especially men are crazy. I don’t like white cops killing Blacks but can I stop it? NO. HOPEFULLY THIS WORLD WILL RISE AND STAND UP TO THESE CRAZY WHITE PEOPLE ESPECIALLY WHITE MEN. WE NEED TO REB9LT AGAINST THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO TAKE OUR FREEDOM. REVOLT AGAINST THEM TODAY.
Vote the Repubs and DeSantis out of office. Very simple. He is a poor weak excuse of a human being.
Quasi religious ? GOP schlub and Evangelical Preacher Franklin Graham was on FOX news asking Evangelicals to pray for Putin.
The new Holy Trinity is Trump / Putin / Desantis