Florida’s Unborn Babies Against the World

Pray for the defeat of the abortion amendment in Florida this November — its passage would be seen as a crowning victory for the abortion industry in America.

The Florida State Supreme Court Building is seen in Tallahassee.
The Florida State Supreme Court Building is seen in Tallahassee. (photo: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

Florida’s unborn babies — and those of us who love them — are in trouble.

Last spring, the Florida House and Senate passed a bill that would disallow abortions six weeks after the baby’s conception. It was called The Heartbeat Protection Act, since modern technology can detect unborn babies’ heartbeats at six weeks. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quickly and enthusiastically signed the bill into law, proclaiming, “We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida.” The law was challenged at the Florida Supreme Court level by abortion clinics, but on April 1 of this year, the Court issued a decision that confirmed the constitutionality of the six-week ban on abortion.

So far, so good.

But in a separate decision, issued the same day, the Florida Supreme Court allowed a radically pro-abortion constitutional amendment to be proposed on the November ballot. The ballot summary reads, “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider. This amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.”

If the amendment passes, abortion would — in effect — be allowed throughout the entire pregnancy to 40 weeks. After all, “when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider” could easily be claimed by an abortion doctor to green-light abortion at any time. In fact, there is nothing in the amendment’s language that would disallow the grisly practice referred to as partial-birth abortion.

It does give us pro-life Floridians some hope that a 60% supermajority is necessary for the amendment’s passage. But what is uniquely discouraging for many of us is that neither presidential candidate is supportive of six-week abortion bans.

President Biden’s pro-abortion record is horrendous. Two weeks after the Dobbs decision, for instance, Biden signed an executive order with the stated intent to “expand access to abortion.” He has repeatedly referred to abortion as a “fundamental” right. In his 2024 State of the Union speech, Biden said, “Many of you in this chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom. My God, what freedom else (sic) would you take away?”

And what about the presumptive Republican nominee for president, former President Donald Trump? It is certainly true that — as president — Donald Trump did help secure some pro-life victories for the unborn, including reinstating Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy. Of course, Trump’s most notable achievement was appointing pro-life judges to the Supreme Court — appointments that led to Alito’s majority decision in Dobbs that overturned Roe and Casey.

But after the midterm election of 2022, in which the Republican Party had a historically abysmal defeat, Trump blamed the pro-life issue for the losses — a theme he has continued ever since. For instance, in a Truth Social post on Jan. 1, 2023, Trump wrote, “It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms. I was 233-20! It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.”

Specifically to Florida, Donald Trump has repeatedly come out against Florida’s six-week abortion ban. After Governor DeSantis signed the six-week abortion ban into law, Trump was interviewed on NBC’s Meet the Press. Asked about DeSantis’ ban, Trump responded: “I think what he (DeSantis) did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”

But what is truly terrible is that politicians, for want of electoral victories, turn their backs on young human persons with real, detectable heartbeats. As the father of nine children, I’ve heard those heartbeats many times within the womb of my wife. I’ve heard the fetal doppler pronounce the truth that life exists. Once you’ve heard those sweet sounds, they resonate forever in your own heart and soul. And those sounds can be detected at six weeks, if not earlier with future technology.

It's terribly sad to say, but Florida voters this November will be faced with a choice about maintaining a six-week ban on abortion — a ban that neither major presidential candidate favors. From the perspective of two-party presidential politics, it is Florida babies contra mundum — Florida babies against the world.

We Floridians, however, do have several reasons for hope. I’ve witnessed the energy of the pro-life movement in Florida. It is vast; it is strong; it is prayerful. 

We can also be encouraged that in 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio, who campaigned on a pro-life platform, won their 2022 elections by whopping margins of 20% and 18% respectively. During that campaign season, it seemed like every time I turned on the television, I saw more advertisements for Rubio’s challenger (whose campaign significantly out-funded him). And yet Rubio, who ran a staunchly pro-life campaign, won big.

Another note of hope is that an early April poll conducted by USA Today suggests that Florida’s pro-abortion amendment is currently about 10 points shy of passage. That’s great news — at least for the moment.

But as those of us who have worked in politics can assure you, seven months is a very long time, and things can change rapidly. Pro-abortion advertising money will likely pour into Florida in that time frame. In large measure, if Florida passes the abortion amendment, it will be seen as the crown jewel of the abortion industry in America. So please pray for us pro-life Floridians as we work very hard and pray very hard to protect these little babies.