Lobbying group asks DeSantis to add more abortion restrictions to upcoming special session

By: - October 21, 2022 3:46 pm

Andrew Shirvell of Florida Voice for the Unborn speaks at an anti-abortion rally on the steps of the Historic Florida Capitol Building May 24, 2022. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

The lobbying group Florida Voice for the Unborn has asked Gov. Ron DeSantis to include “comprehensive legislation protecting all Florida’s unborn children” in an upcoming special session of the Legislature.

Currently, Florida has a 15-week abortion ban.

In a letter to the governor Friday, founder and executive director Andrew Shirvell said, “I want to continue to impress upon you the gravity of the abortion situation in Florida.  Since the June 24th Dobbs decision, Florida has become an abortion destination state.  The statistics compiled by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration show that abortion numbers are on the rise in those counties where abortionists operate with impunity.”

He added: “The 15-Week Abortion Ban, enacted earlier this year and in full effect right now, has not had the intended effect of even slightly reducing Florida’s overall abortion rate. In fact, 2022 is shaping up to beat 2021’s record year of nearly 80,000 abortions in Florida … But as the Chief Executive of our state, you have the power to help end this human rights atrocity, which is occurring on a daily basis on your watch.”

Earlier this year, DeSantis signed legislation banning a woman’s right to an abortion after 15 weeks without exceptions for rape or incest earlier this year. It was the first time that the state has imposed restrictions on a woman’s right to abortion since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973.

A number of health care providers filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law in June. A state trial court issued an order blocking the ban in early July, but the state has appealed the ruling, triggering an automatic stay of that injunction under state law.

DeSantis has been reluctant to publicly discuss his thoughts on further abortion restrictions.

“I think we want to make sure that what we’ve done will stick, and then work with the Legislature,” DeSantis said back in August. “But I will tell you, you know that 15 (week ban) was very difficult to be able to achieve. We were happy that we were able to achieve it. And so, you know, we look forward and we welcome future endeavors. But we realize there’s still going to be a fight on the legal end on that.”

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.