The Tallahassee City Commissioners narrowly passed a controversial pro-abortion resolution Wednesday that promotes abortion while criticizing pro-life efforts to support mothers and save unborn babies.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports the commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of the resolution despite strong opposition from the community.
Andrew Shirvell, founder and executive director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, slammed the commissioners’ action as “heinous,” saying the politicians were “bought and paid for by the abortion industry.”
“No human being has a right – constitutional or otherwise – to murder a helpless child in the womb,” Shirvell said. “Instead of promoting abortion on demand, the Tallahassee City Commissioners should be making Florida’s capital city a sanctuary for the unborn where every life is cherished.”
Shirvell, who attended the meeting Wednesday, said the public comments against the resolution vastly outnumbered those in favor of it.
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According to the local news, the resolution states that the Tallahassee mayor and commissioners want to “protect and strengthen Florida citizens’ right to reproductive healthcare, including abortion,” and they believe “abortion is a constitutional right [that] remains legal in all 50 states.”
The resolution criticizes pro-life state lawmakers who support “laws restricting abortion access, including restricting young people’s access to abortion” and funding for pro-life pregnancy centers and maternity homes. It also calls on the Florida Legislature promote access to abortions, according to Tallahassee Reports.
Mayor John Dailey and Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter voted in favor of the resolution, while Commissioners Dianne Williams-Cox and Curtis Richardson voted against it.
Prior to the vote, Williams-Cox said she supports “choice,” but she does not think abortion is an issue for city government, according to the report.
“We are out of our lane,” she said. “We should not be dealing with this issue. This is a legislative issue. Let the legislature deal with it.”
Many local residents voiced their opposition during the meeting as well. Pam Olsen, founder of the Florida Prayer Network, told the commissioners that the resolution was both unwise and unnecessary, the local news reports.
“Our country has seen almost 65 million babies murdered since abortion was made legal. Think about that as you think about this resolution,” Olsen said.
Another local resident, Tony Ciarlariello said aborting unborn babies is a “crime against humanity.”
“Abortion is the only medical procedure that has a 100% death rate,” Ciarlariello said. “This is not healthcare it is a crime against humanity. Every abortion ends the life of a genetically distinct human being.”
The pro-abortion resolution drew the attention of a few state lawmakers. State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, a former Planned Parenthood employee, praised city leaders after the vote.
“@CityofTLH just passed a resolution supporting reproductive justice & opposing political efforts to strip bodily autonomy away from their residents — thank you @JeremyMatlowTLH, @VoteJackPorter, and @JohnDaileyTLH for your support & leadership on this. Onward!” she wrote on Twitter.
But Republicans control the state legislature, and Gov. Ron DeSantis said he “welcomes” pro-life legislation. In September, state Rep. Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona, introduced the Florida Heartbeat Act, a bill similar to the Texas heartbeat law that would protect unborn babies by banning almost all abortions in the state.
After the vote, Florida Voice for the Unborn urged pro-lifers to boycott Gaines Street Pies, which is owned by Commissioner Jeremy Matlow “due to Mr. Matlow’s vehement support of abortion on demand.”
The Coral Springs City Commission in south Florida voted in favor of a similar pro-abortion resolution earlier this week.
Meanwhile, national polls by Marist and Gallup consistently find that a majority of Americans want all or most abortions to be illegal. A poll this year from AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that a strong majority of Americans believe states should be allowed to ban abortions after the first trimester.
Several recent polls also have found majority support for heartbeat laws that prohibit abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. A new poll from the University of Houston/Texas Southern University found a solid 55 percent of Texas residents support the life-saving legislation.
ACTION ALERT: Contact city commissioners to complain by going here.