Just got back from Catholic Days at the Capitol.  Visited with Senator Gruters and Rep. James Buchanan.  Both received us very graciously in their offices and we were able to talk to them about the Parental Consent Bill.  Gruters is a sponsor of the bill and Buchanan is co-sponsoring it.  We heard the debate in the Senate Chamber.  Most enlightening.  Senator Farmer argued that it would cost $250,000 to raise a child; so if a parent were not to give their consent, they should be made to sign an agreement to underwrite the unborn child’s cost of living. (Can’t make this stuff up!)  Senator Burman argued for an amendment to the bill that would allow a psychologist or social worker sign the consent form because a minor might no be living with her parents or might be in foster care.  We all understood that this would result in the hiring of a psychologist at every PP clinic to by pass the bill’s enforcement.  Senator Stargell stood her ground and argued back about all other surgical procedures needing parental consent and also the cost incurred by a parent for complications.  The bill was not voted on that day.  The amendment review continues, but it does look good for passage.

Senator Gruters is totally pro life and was agreeable to the repeal of the death penalty; although he didn’t have much hope for it passing in the near future.  He denounced, unequivocally, the Assisted Suicide Bill and said that he would not support it.  Representative Buchanan’s answers to our questions on the three issues were very much the same; although he did not know the statistics that we were able to give him about the cost of execution compared to a life sentence.

We were divided into teams and given an assigned senator and representative, ones who were as close as they could get to our districts.

We also watched the Florida House in session.  Chaotic. Disorganized.  All but ignoring the speaker’s directions.  A real eye opener of our tax dollars at work  The Senate was much more controlled and orderly.

The day started with a 7AM briefing from Ingrid Delgado from the Florida Catholic Bishops Conference apprising us of the status of these three bills and offering possible counterarguments.  The day ended with the Red Mass prayed for all the legislators and supreme court judges, many of whom were in attendance.

A worthwhile adventure.  I’d encourage anyone who might be interested to hop on the bus next year and do some pro-life leg work.

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1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Decisions Legalized Abortion in the U.S. for theFull Nine Months of Pregnancy Prior to 1967, abortion was prohibited in all 50 states except when the mother’s life was in danger. Between 1967 and 1973, 18 states added further exceptions, mostly to allow abortion in cases of rape and incest, or for certain limited medical reasons, or on demand (New York). In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered two decisions, Roe v. Wade 1 and Doe v. Bolton 2 which, taken together, have allowed legal abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy in all 50 states. The two original decisions established legal abortion as follows: In the first three months of pregnancy, no one can interfere with a woman’s decision to abort her child. After the first three months, but before the “viability” of the unborn child, an individual state can enact laws to protect the health of the mother but cannot prohibit the abortion of the unborn child. After “viability” of the unborn child, an individual state can, if it chooses to do so, enact laws to protect the unborn child but abortion must be allowed if the life or “health” of the mother is at stake. The Supreme Court defined “health” as “the medical judgment that may be exercised in light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age –relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” 2 Consequently, the broad definition of “health” has made abortion legal up to the moment of birth.

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