‘Slippery Slope to Infanticide’: Why I’m Opposing the Unlawful Florida Abortion Ballot Initiative
“No law shall restrict … abortion.” These four words are at the crux of the abortion amendment I’m opposing before the Florida Supreme Court on February 7.
I am presenting an oral argument in Tallahassee this week in opposition to a proposed abortion ballot initiative that should not be allowed on the Florida ballot in November because it violates state law. Not only is the amendment unlawful, but if it is allowed on the ballot and it passes, it would codify unfettered abortion access up until the point of birth into law in Florida.
Ballot Initiative Violates Florida Law
Of course, I am adamantly opposed to the amendment itself, as I believe human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection at all stages of viability. This is backed by God’s Word, science, and common sense. On top of the right to life, adding this amendment to the 2024 ballot violates the Florida Constitution’s single-subject requirement by addressing multiple subjects in the same proposal, such as “pre-” and “post-” viability abortions, the protection of women’s health, and the function of the three branches of government. These are all distinct issues that cannot permissibly be included in a single ballot initiative per Florida law.
Additionally, the language used in the ballot summary does not accurately reflect the true function of the amendment and is intentionally vague and misleading to deceive voters into siding with abortion. The pro-abortion movement has utilized a similar deceptive strategy in states like Ohio to deceive voters into voting to enshrine radical abortion policies into law.
Unfettered Abortion Access Until Birth
The ballot summary states, “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 … ” (emphasis added).
To translate, this means unfettered abortion access would be codified in the Florida Constitution. “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict” provides that there would be ZERO abortion restrictions to protect life in the womb before the arbitrary metric of “viability.”
And post-viability, the “or when necessary to protect the patient’s health” language opens the door to any perceived “health” condition of the mother, including physical, mental, emotional, financial, and social health, at any point in pregnancy up till full birth. The undefined word “health” opens the door to abortion on demand for any reason, at any time, up until the point of birth.
To make matters worse, the definition of “health care provider” includes 58 professions, many of which have no medical training, such as tattoo artist, massage therapist, audiologist, an orthotic fitter assistant, and the list goes on. If passed, a tattoo artist could determine if the baby is “viable” (which is undefined), and even after “’viability,” this non-medically trained provider can wield an absolute veto over any late-term abortion regulation.
Keep in mind, NO LAW OR REGULATION regarding abortion prior to “viability” will be permitted if this initiative passes.
Even though this is almost too ridiculous to believe, I’m not making it up. I don’t think people quite understand the grave nature of this abortion ballot initiative and what’s at stake — this law would put Florida in the ranks of radical pro-abortion states like California.
The amendment being pushed by a Planned Parenthood-backed initiative would override every state law and regulation. One of the only laws that would potentially remain in place is the parental notification (not consent) law, but even that is not guaranteed.
The “no law shall restrict” language in the amendment would leave abortion completely unregulated in Florida. And it includes no health or safety regulations. The pro-abortion movement’s argument against abortion bans is that it would give rise to “back alley” abortions. This amendment will push women to “back alley” abortions by disempowering the three branches of state government to put in place any law to protect them or their preborn children.
Currently, the state’s legislative branch is authorized to “restrict” abortion through legislation, the executive branch is authorized to enforce the law against those who violate state law, and the judicial branch is authorized to interpret the law. But if this amendment passes, the legislature could not pass any restriction on abortion. The executive could not enforce any law (including licensing laws), and the judiciary would only be able to strike down every law.
If the government’s role is to protect its citizens, then this amendment would leave all three branches of state government completely powerless to protect women and preborn babies. It would totally deregulate the abortion industry while throwing women into the lion’s den. It would leave victimized women and girls with absolutely no recourse, further opening the door to both abuse and coerced abortions.
Combatting the Radical Abortion Agenda
This amendment is a slippery slope to legalize infanticide and gives the abortion industry license to murder preborn babies without restriction or regulation. The goal of the pro-abortion movement is to legalize and normalize the genocide of innocent children. And this amendment would do just that.
I’ve been in the fight for the right to life for decades now, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the pro-abortion movement will stop at nothing to enact its dark agenda. When Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, we rejoiced, but we knew the pro-abortion movement would double down on its tactics to expand abortion in the states.
In a post-Roe America, we must step up to the challenge to combat the pro-death abortion movement as the battle has moved to the states. In courtrooms nationwide, Liberty Counsel is continuing to fight for life to establish protections for children in the womb and combat the evil of pro-abortion activism.
Life is the first right and must be protected. Without the right to life, all other rights are illusory. If we don’t defend the defenseless, then who will?
Mat Staver is the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action.