Some conversations and insights about the moment

The Florida State House Minority Leader’s View on “Protected Amendment that protects the Inalienable Right to Life” and “The Unborn vs. The Unborn”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Last month, when the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would explicitly protect access to abortion, the discussion took a surprising turn for attendees like state House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell.

“The chief justice seemed to be well educated about what the ballot initiative would mean for other areas of the law,” Driskell said.

Specifically, Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz wanted to know how the amendment might interact with Article I of Florida’s Constitution, which grants “all natural persons” the inalienable right to life.

“As a matter of ordinary meaning, the term ‘natural person’ does not include the unborn,” Muiz said during the hearing.

Mary Ziegler of the University of California-Davis says Chief Justice Muiz is ready to make an argument to the Florida Supreme Court.

The court’s ruling in both cases is pending and it remains to be seen whether the chief justice’s questions about fetal personhood will impact the outcomes. The question of fetal personhood isn’t going away.

It’s a topic that’s made headlines since the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in a recent wrongful death case that embryos are “extrauterine children.” That ruling brought questions about access to in-vivo fertilization in the state and sent ripples throughout the country.

Speaker Mike Johnson and 125 other House Republicans signed on to thelife at conception act which did not include protection for I.V.F. Johnson was applauded by the Alabama Legislature for protecting life and making sure that I.V.F. treatment is available to families throughout the state.

Ziegler said the plan she believes the anti-abortion movement is working toward now is similar to one that’s worked in the past. When the right to abortion was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme court, Justice Kavanaugh wrote a concurring opinion pointing out that many states had laws against abortion access.

For decades members of the anti-abortion rights movement have been trying to get laws on the books that extend rights to fetus, such as wrongful death and child support.

Ziegler said each new law passed creates a cumulative effect. Lawyers will be easier to argue that fetuses aren’t people in the Constitution when a state recognizes them in one area of law. If states like Alabama and Florida recognize fetuses as people in their laws and constitutions, she said, it helps set the dominos for an argument on the national level.

“In recent years, a significant number of States have enacted abortion restrictions that directly conflict with Roe. Those laws should not be dismissed as politics or outlier laws. “Those numerous state laws collectively represent the sincere and deeply held views of tens of millions of Americans.”

Florida Republican lawmakers recently considered a bill that would have let parents collect damages in civil suits for the loss of a pregnancy. While the bill’s sponsors (who helped to pass Florida’s pending six-week abortion ban) said the wrongful death measure had nothing to do with abortion, advocates on both sides of the issue disagreed.

Andrew Shirvell, founder of the group Florida Voice for the Unborn, told lawmakers as he spoke about the bill in committee that he would “say the quiet part out loud.” From his viewpoint, he said, the wrongful death bill is “another reaffirmation that unborn children should be considered nothing less than human persons under our state laws and our state constitution.”

“It’s only a matter of time before you come for it and you’ll be able to act like you’re not a person,” Book said. “I think for a long time people suggested that advocates [and] lawmakers who talked about personhood, coming after IVF, the abortion battle, that we were somehow hyperbolic or hysterical. Well, look where we are.”

Defending the Abortion Utterance of Humankind and Implications for the Human Rights and Humanity of Embryos

“Although I have worked hard to respond to questions and concerns, I understand that there is still work that needs to be done,” said Republican state Sen. We need to get the policy right with this significance.

“People across the country are talking about it,” Book said. At the end of the day, Republicans know this is a problem. This isn’t something that they should be doing.”

A major question before November’s elections will be how the anti-abortion movement reacts to Republican efforts to sideline it. A person running for Senate in Arizona who once called abortion the ultimate sin has come out against both a federal abortion ban and a near-total Arizona abortion ban that is tied up in court.

On Wednesday, leading figures in the movement, including Lila Rose of Live Action, Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and Brent Leatherwood of the Southern Baptist Convention, signed a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama urging her to veto the bill. “Both science and logic have made it clear that embryos must be accorded the same human rights and level of dignity that all other human beings — at every developmental stage of life — are granted,” they wrote.

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