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Nancy Smith

Another Obvious Challenge to Florida's Bad Abortion Law

December 14, 2016 - 6:00am

Florida's abortion law in all its collective parts is so unAmerican, so unconstitutional and, frankly, so offensive that any day this law is challenged in court is a day I'm ready to throw a party.

On Tuesday it happened again. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a federal lawsuit challenging a 2016 extension of the gone-mad abortion law  the courts are picking apart bit by bit. See the complaint here

Thank you, ACLU.

I know I'm in the minority among my fellow Republicans. I don't care. I'm right, they're wrong -- this is a constitutional consideration, not remotely a moral one. I think deep down they know it, too.

Nothing says Florida is governed by a Legislature of mostly old-men-ideologues and zealots more surely than a law requiring -- yes, under penalty of law -- requiring people and organizations to give a woman seeking their counsel state-mandated information, to notify her parents if she is a minor, and to register with the state’s health care administration agency.

What's so funny is, the same legislators who cry the loudest to bring only laws that pass constitutional muster are the very ones who voted for Florida's draconian, constitutionally out-of-sync abortion law.

The registration requirement, passed in the 2016 legislative session and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, was part of HB 1411, a larger package that sought to block abortion care in Florida.  A federal court has already struck down other provisions of 1411.

“A woman considering an abortion may consult with any number of people in making her decision,” said Nancy Abudu, legal director of the ACLU of Florida. “This ill-conceived law criminalizes the intimate conversations a woman has with her support network. The law not only forces people to provide information they may not be qualified to provide, it clearly intends to bully and intimidate women’s trusted advisors with a vague and complicated bureaucratic process, under the threat of criminal charges.”

Let's spell this out as clearly as we can:

The law makes no distinction among the many, many types of people and groups a woman might consult during the process of considering or seeking an abortion: charitable organizations, attorneys, clergy, women’s advocacy organizations, domestic violence shelters, sexual assault survivor centers, and community organizations, among many others. 

The point is, however, any of those persons or groups will be required to register with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) as an “abortion referral or counseling agency,” and must provide mandated -- though undefined -- information, including medical information, with criminal penalties for failure to comply. I asked this question when the law was plowing through the Legislature, I'll ask it again: Is Florida trying to punish these folks for being unwanted buttinskis?

The lawsuit has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. You might remember, in August, Hinkle definitively blocked a related Florida abortion law to prevent state funds from going to organizations that provide abortions.

Again, this Florida law the ACLU is attacking violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "by compelling speech, putting content- and viewpoint-based restrictions on speech, and limiting speech about abortion care only to those who have already registered with the ACHA."

This is America, people, come on.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith




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I'm sure the very people who support killing the baby in the womb in an abortion are the very same people who would be up in arms if the same procedure to kill that baby was applied to an animal. What hypocrites you are. We ALL began as a fetus and how many of us would be here if we were all "planned"?. Most of us were surprises. A fetus is not like a tooth or a tumor to be removed, it is a live human being just as you were. I am ashamed that you are a Republican, and hope you will NEVER be re-elected. What makes YOU think that you are right and we are wrong? Spoken as a typical LIBERAL.

You are 110% correct Nancy.

Nancy, you're right about being in the minority among your fellow Republicans. Republicans know that an abortion is killing your baby. We have murderers who get a trial first and must be found guilty before they are executed; what crime has the baby had to be executed? You have been brainwashed by societies degradation. You can lie yourself that it is your right but deep down you know decent people don't murder their own children. You need to come to grips with whatever has you on the wrong side of the life issue. God can wipe the slate clean if you just ask Him.

Wow Nancy is finally standing up for something instead of cowering like she does on Big ag polluting her town so bad it drove the tourist and even some homeowners away and so many other things. Even here like then, she refuses to name names.

For once, I agree with you, Nancy.

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nancy smith

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