Both Florida House Representative Tommy Gregory and State Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez filed bills known as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” HB 351 and SB 744 were similar to each other and, if passed, would have been made to conform in order to be signed into law.
Thankfully, both bills died in committee. However, a pain-capable bill is a top legislative priority for prolifers for the upcoming 2022 session, so this bill is likely to rear its ugly head again. That is why this article is being written.
Let us establish from the get-go that Abolish Abortion Florida vehemently opposes any bills that merely regulate - rather than abolish - murder by abortion. Regulatory bills fail to obey God’s word that we are not to murder each other. We believe that every human being has a God-given, inalienable right to life that is not dependent upon whether that human can feel pain. From the moment of conception, every one of us is an image-bearer of God, with equal rights.
The pain bill will fail to protect the overwhelming majority of preborn children, if in fact it protects any at all. 94% of Florida abortions are done in the first 12 weeks, and this bill applies only to pregnancies of 20 weeks’ gestation or more (18 weeks from fertilization). But regulatory bills are not really written in such a way as to protect anyone. They are legislative vehicles intended to drive themselves to the US Supreme Court. It is the prolife strategy to enact niggling little regulations – to become but an irritant pebble in the shoe of big abortion – that will somehow make their way to SCOTUS, actually be selected to be heard, and then will magically overturn the dozens of supremist court abortion cases that have consistently upheld and strengthened a woman’s legal protections during the act of murdering her preborn child. These test cases have multiple features in common, but the top two are that they all bow down to judicial supremacy, and they all in effect say: “as long as you comply, you can kill the baby.”
We believe that the majority of prolife individuals sincerely wish to abolish abortion. However, the prolife industrial complex is completely unwilling to loosen its grip on the dream of abolishing abortion one step at a time, and only with the full cooperation of the Supreme Court. Such incremental regulationism has failed miserably as an abolitionist strategy over the past half-century since Roe v. Wade, and has actually strengthened abortion rights throughout the country. The only thing the prolife movement has been overwhelmingly successful at is fundraising. We must abandon the failed prolife strategy of overturning Roe v. Wade.
These pain-capable bills would (sometimes, maybe) prohibit the intentional killing of a preborn child who can feel pain. One of the problems is that no one really knows the point at which a human being begins feeling pain. Another problem is that the bill allows a fully-pain-capable human being to be butchered in an “emergency.”
Abolish Abortion Florida analyzed the verbiage of the proposed Pain Capable Child Protection Act. One of the first things that jumped out was this “whereas” clause. The "whereases" lay out the why, and the “therefore’s” lay out the what -- Whereas we believe this, therefore we are doing that. -- Lawmakers love their “whereases” even more than they love their “therefore’s!”
“WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Florida declares, moreover, that it would have passed this act, and each provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more provisions, sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words, or any of their applications, were to be declared unconstitutional.”
Wait. WHAT???? Read that one more time and let us break it down for you.
The Florida Legislature is claiming that even if this law is eventually stricken, overruled, injuncted, or overturned, they WOULD have passed it anyway. They’re saying, in effect, we don’t care that SCOTUS thinks it’s unconstitutional, so there. That begs the question:
If they insist they would pass this bill regardless of its perceived constitutionality, why on earth would they refuse to pass a law banning all abortion as murder “irrespective of the fact” that it might be declared by SCOTUS to be unconstitutional? If you’re going to publicly shout that you don’t care about constitutional claims, why not go for the whole enchilada and ban every murder instead of just a handful of murders?
“The Legislature finds that there is a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that such unborn children are capable of feeling pain.” (emphasis added).
“Compelling state interest” is code language. That phrase was used in prior iniquitous rulings of the US Supreme Court to declare what each state is “allowed” to care about. The Florida Legislature is groveling to SCOTUS here that we are only caring about what they say we can care about. By using their lingo, our Florida Legislature is "going along to get along" with SCOTUS’s list of “compelling state interests.” They are legitimizing wicked SCOTUS rulings. They are bowing to the self-proclaimed judicial supremacy of the black-robed federal beast. They dare not dispute SCOTUS's declaration that states have no legal right to keep babies alive in the first half of pregnancy. Either Florida lawmakers really are cowards, or else they are truly not interested in protecting the lives of unborn children who cannot yet feel pain.
The bill further assures us that Florida’s “interest” in protecting children who feel pain has nothing to do with its other “interest” in protecting children who are viable outside of the womb. Florida pro-life lawmakers feel they have to say this because they already passed a regulation about protecting babies from viability and they do not want that to conflict with this new regulation they are attempting to pass. AAFL would exhort our legislators to make no such assurances if they are “interested” in being obedient to God by protecting all His image-bearers from murder.
The inconsistency doesn’t end there.
“WHEREAS, an unborn child reacts to touch by 8 weeks probable gestational age,” [6 weeks from fertilization]
Why does the bill even mention this since the bill has not the slightest intention of protecting a 6-8 week old child?
“WHEREAS, pain receptors are present throughout an unborn child's entire body no later than 16 weeks after probable gestational age,”
Again, why bother bringing it up since the bill fails to protect 16-week-old children? Kids that young are not on the SCOTUS-approved “interest list.”
Florida has no interest in protecting children in the wombs of mothers under 18 whose parents want their grandbaby dead (as evidenced by the Parental Consent Act signed into law following the 2020 session).
They have no interest in protecting children as long as their mother has had the most inaccurate type of ultrasound, performed by the paid killer or his staff, that the mother doesn’t even have to see.
No interest in protecting a tiny preborn human in the first 19 weeks of his or her life because he might not suffer as much as a 20-weeker.
No interest in protecting a 16-week old with pain receptors, even though they admit the baby has them.
The documentary “Silent Scream” shows an ultrasound of a 12-week-old child thrashing violently, heart rate racing, mouth opened wide in horror, just before that child is butchered onscreen, his fragile body imploded through a tube, an innocent human life savagely obliterated in the blink of an eye. If that isn’t pain, I don’t know what is.
But they have no interest in protecting that screaming 12-week old.
No interest in protecting an 8-week old, even though they know he or she reacts to touch.
No interest in protecting a 6-week old whose heart has already beaten thousands of times.
No interest in protecting a one-day old human being with no heart, no brain, who can’t feel pain, but with his or her own, unique, distinct, irreplaceable DNA, an image-bearer of God Almighty Himself.
For a mother who is seriously ill, the act specifies that the abortionist is to use the method of abortion that is most likely to allow the baby to survive. Even this language is convoluted and inconsistent, because the bill defines “abortion” as an act undertaken with the intent to produce a dead baby. In other words, abortion means killing the baby. But in the case of a serious maternal condition, the bill tells the doctor (the killer) to abort (kill) the baby in a way that doesn’t kill the baby. Contradictory language is the hallmark of a lazy legislator who really doesn't care about his bill.
The bill should instead specifically forbid intentionally killing a baby for any reason whatsoever. If the life of the mother is in danger, a doctor should be ordered to use a method of treatment most likely to save them both. Whatever that treatment might be, it is NEVER an abortion, which may, at that stage, be a two-day procedure.
Why do doctors insist on abortion during a maternal emergency? In the opinion of this author (who spent many years working in the medical malpractice defense industry), it’s all about the Benjamins. If they can scare the mother into signing off on killing her baby, they cannot be sued for wrongful death. If they attempt to save the baby and fail, they’d better be sure their malpractice premiums are paid up.
The bill could also have contained a caveat that no physician may be sued for good-faith efforts to save a baby that has to be prematurely delivered in order to save the mother’s life. But it doesn’t. Because lifesaving is not really what this bill is about. A “100% prolife approval rating” is what this bill is about.
The bill specifically excludes the mother from prosecution for having an abortion at or after 20 weeks – as do virtually all prolife bills. The prolife movement insists that women are "victims" of abortion and should never be charged with a crime. Apparently they are convinced that abortions randomly fall out of the sky and land on a poor, innocent woman’s womb.
The bill goes into great detail about measures to protect the mother’s identity from any reports filed. She will get an anonymous medical record number. Courtrooms may be cleared of spectators so that her medical information is kept private. Tragically, the bill does not go into nearly as much effort to protect the innocent life being extinguished.
The intentional violation of this Act by an abortionist is a 3rd degree felony. That is not equal justice for the preborn child. A third-degree felony is the least serious felony charge (up to 5 years and/or $5,000). This is the same as possession of over 20 grams of pot. It is not capital murder (death penalty). And failure to file the proper reports results only in monthly fines or, at most, a misdemeanor.
The intentional violation of this Act by the mother is NEVER prosecuted. Incredibly, if a mother takes her 20-week-old child to be murdered, and an abortionist actually accomplishes the hit, the mother will not only be held guiltless, but she can then SUE the abortionist! The mother is never charged. She is never guilty. She calls the death camp. She makes the appointment. She gathers the money. She gets transportation to and from the killing field. She hauls the baby in her womb to the abortuary and pins him down on the table, positioning herself so that the baby can then be skewered and blenderized into a bloody pulp. But she is not guilty. And then she sues the abortionist.
Abolish Abortion Florida hopes you share our outrage at this and other prolife attempts at regulating how murder is to be performed. We hope you agree that ALL abortion is murder and that ALL involved are guilty of murder. We hope you will write, or better yet CALL, or best yet VISIT your state representative and state senator face-to-face, and DEMAND nothing less than the complete and total abolition of ALL abortion – from conception, without exception. May God help us all.
Click on the names to let the Authors and Co-signers of HB 351 and SB 744 know that you will support ONLY a righteous law that protects every preborn child!
Author of HB 351:
Co-Signers of HB 351:
Author of SB 744:
Co-Signers of SB 744: