This weekend, the Florida Family Policy Council holds its annual policy awards dinner featuring GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. The group will also feature a list of “special guest participants,” which includes many of the Florida legislators who played a big role in curbing access to abortion in the state this past session.
According to an email from the Florida Family Policy Council, the “special guest participants” for Saturday’s event, titled “Igniting a Cultural Transformation,” include Florida Speaker of the House Dean Cannon, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, state Rep. Dennis Baxley and state Sen. Ronda Storms (all Republicans).
Russ and Jill Amerling from Choose Life, Inc. are also on the list. The Florida Legislature passed a bill this year that reroutes the funds made from the sale of “Choose Life” license plates from the counties were they are sold to Choose Life, Inc.
The Legislature passed five bills this year aimed at restricting access to abortions in the state. The Florida Family Policy Council and other anti-abortion rights groups have claimed credit for the state Legislature’s actions this year.
Baxley proposed the Choose Life bill in the Florida House this year, as well as an amendment to the Florida constitution that would prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest. Critics of this amendment warn that, if passed, it will damage women’s privacy rights, explicitly protected in Florida’s constitution. Baxley was recently named the chair of the House Health and Human Services Access Subcommittee — one of the committees that frequently considers anti-abortion legislation.
Storms introduced legislation that would require a doctor to perform an ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion, whether it is medically necessary or not. During the bill’s debate, she blasted abortion providers for ignoring fetuses’ “babyhood or humanhood.”