". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


As Florida’s Heartbeat Bill Takes Effect, Conservatives Warn against Pro-Abortion Ballot Initiative

May 2, 2024

A Florida bill, the Heartbeat Protection Act (HPA), went into effect on Wednesday, which increases protections for the unborn after six-weeks, as opposed to the state’s previous 15-week rule. The HPA initially became law in April 2023 as part of the Florida Supreme Court’s decision that abortion is not a given right under the Constitution. That decision was key in upholding the 15-week law, and only a month later, proved relevant to the six-week law.

Several Democrats have made their opposition to the bill known. For instance, Vice President Kamala Harris claimed the law was “extreme,” blaming former President Donald Trump for the so-called “harmful state abortion bans.” Additionally, Planned Parenthood Vice President of Communications Michelle Quesada sent an email to WORLD Magazine that “claimed the new law is devastating for Floridians.” But as Family Research Council President Tony Perkins highlighted on Wednesday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” the bill is far from devastating for most Floridians.

“[T]he reality,” he stated, “is the American people are not where the Democratic Party and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are at on this issue.” He added that Democrats “want abortion until birth with taxpayer funds. That’s what they’re calling for,” whereas Florida at large is a proponent of life. In addition, Florida State Rep. Mike Beltran (R) pointed out, “Florida is well in line with the rest of the region of the country.”

Beltran recalled how Florida’s 2022 15-week bill coincided with the Dobbs decision, which ultimately led to an increase in “the number of abortions in Florida.” Why? Because, as he explained, Dobbs allowed states to pass stronger pro-life laws which caused people seeking abortion in the surrounding area to go to Florida, where the threshold was more moderate. For Beltran, “the idea that Florida is some sort of an outlier, I think is absurd.”

Even so, Perkins noted that the Democrats are still trying to “paint Florida as extreme.” But as Beltran pointed out, Florida’s bill is “still more lenient than much of the rest of the deep … mid-South and parts of the Midwest.” Ultimately, he urged, “I think that [pro-abortion] folks in the rest of the South and maybe people in the North are aggrieved that it’s going to be a little bit harder to practice abortion tourism.”

He added, “And I make no apology for that. We have beaches, and we have parks, and we have good weather. Abortion is not part of what we’re marketing for tourism to the rest of the country.”

Despite the good news of HPA taking effect, Perkins raised the concern that this fall “… the pro-abortion crowd has put onto the ballot initiative” a measure that “would enshrine abortion into the Constitution at the point of viability.” He asked, “How does that stand, and what do pro-life voters in Florida need to be doing?”

Beltran answered, “People need to understand just how extravagant this proposed constitutional amendment is. It gets rid, up until viability … all restrictions on abortion.” It gets “rid of mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods, health and safety regulations, informed consent laws — even parental consent is going to go out the window.”

 “[W]e need to get the word out,” he insisted. The abortion activists’ ballot measure is “not a moderate thing. It’s not just targeted at our heartbeat bill. … It … completely gets rid of all our [pro-life efforts].”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.