Charlie Crist vows to veto all future bills if Ron DeSantis, lawmakers outlaw abortion
Charlie Crist blasts Ron DeSantis.

Desantis Crist
‘They’re bringing women's rights to a halt. Somebody has to stand up for women in Florida.’

Charlie Crist is ready to bring state government to a standstill as Governor if lawmakers outlaw all abortions in Florida.

The former Republican Governor turned Democratic Congressman, who is the front-runner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, vowed to veto all bills passed by the Legislature if Republicans ban abortion and he denies Gov. Ron DeSantis re-election in November.

“If the Legislature goes into a lame-duck Session and this Governor decides that he wants to ban all abortion everywhere, anytime, I will veto every piece of legislation that comes to my desk as your next Governor until they rescind that ban against them,” Crist said.

Crist spoke Thursday in Tallahassee outside the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court, where Judge John Cooper is hearing arguments in abortion advocates’ lawsuit over Florida’s imminent 15-week abortion ban. If Cooper doesn’t halt the legislation (HB 5), the measure will take effect at midnight.

The ban would take effect one week after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which became the inspiration for Florida’s legislation. In upholding Mississippi’s law, the Court negated half a century of federal abortion precedent by overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, eliminating the federal right to an abortion.

Already, there are suggestions that DeSantis and Florida’s Republican-led Legislature could hold a Special Session to further reduce the window for abortions.

Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Florida Constitution is explicit about the right to privacy, which the Florida Supreme Court has previously ruled encompasses the right to an abortion. Ultimately, Florida’s 15-week abortion ban is expected to go before the Florida Supreme Court.

Crist acknowledged a legislative war over abortion would grind government to a halt.

“They’re bringing women’s rights to a halt. Somebody has to stand up for women in Florida. I’m running to do that. They deserve to have an advocate for them,” Crist said.

Crist is currently leading Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. In recent weeks, Fried has gone on the attack by highlighting Crist’s past comments that he is “pro-life” and his defense of his record by saying that means he is “for life.”

In May, Fried campaign spokeswoman Caroline Korba called Crist’s comments “insulting and infuriating.”

“Charlie is only for Charlie, which makes it so shocking that he can’t even pretend he’s not still pro-life during this primary,” Korba said in a statement. “This is why we need Nikki Fried more than ever — she has never, ever waived on women’s freedom, and never will. Shame on Charlie.”

Crist has noted he is the only candidate who has vetoed an abortion restriction, which he did in 2010 when he nixed the Legislature’s proposal to require women get an ultrasound before getting an abortion. He also has a 100% score from Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s congressional scorecard.

An internal poll Crist’s campaign released Wednesday shows he maintains a strong lead in the Democratic Primary. The poll from GBAO Strategies shows 55% of likely Primary voters favor Crist while only 34% favor Fried.

Democratic lawmakers and activists pushed back against the 15-week abortion ban throughout the 2022 Legislative Session. Opponents hosted rallies, packed committee rooms and flooded the phone lines of lawmakers, and that opposition was reignited last week with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Florida’s 15-week abortion ban contains no exceptions for rape or incest but provides an exception if it is necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life. Among other criticisms, opponents lamented a provision requiring two physicians to certify a life-threatening emergency. They contend the provision will disproportionately harm low-income and minority women, who may lack adequate access to health care.

According to a staff analysis, Florida recorded 209,645 live births in 2020 and 72,073 abortions — most of them elective.

Crist served as Governor between 2007 and 2011. He was elected as a Republican but left the party in 2010.

As Governor, Crist appointed three of the state Supreme Court’s current members. Six of the seven Justices, including two appointed by Crist, are considered conservatives. Crist’s third remaining appointee, Justice Jorge Labarga, is considered the Court’s one moderate.

The Court’s balance has raised questions over whether the panel would overturn the right to an abortion until viability. When asked about his appointments, Crist told reporters he did not regret his choices.

“The appointments that I have made, and I hope that others have made, are of people that have integrity and respect the Florida Constitution in the United States Constitution,” Crist said.

“These Justices will take this very seriously (and) understand their obligations to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of Florida. We have a very broad privacy condition in the Florida Constitution. I believe they respect it. They should.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


6 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    June 30, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Charlie has finally flipped his carefully tonsured wig. He’s goofier that Gillum. Going to veto everything, huh? Including the budget? Stop hospital care, teaching, and law enforcement to feed his juvenile pique? Lord above I am glad that goof isn’t a Republican anymore. What a f–gin’ embarrassment!

  • Tom

    June 30, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Chameleon doing what he does worse,
    Crawling to prove self. This perennial loser is a disgusting being. His self righteousness as if only he knows better is despicable. He will be spat out by Republicans, women, independents, and Hispanics. Threatening all of govt. for the almighty abortion, what a sick bastard.

    America’s Gov will annihilate the chameleon. Fraud is only worse. Dems are a joke, crispy the chameleon.

    • Just a comment

      July 3, 2022 at 8:34 am

      Who wants children in this god dam world anyways If they have any injuries all people will do is surround and bite the anyhow.

  • Wanda

    July 1, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    Charlie you have all the Gaye’s votes and most of the women you will win in nov you have all the people that works for Disney world and most of all the teachers you will be the governor of Florida good luck you have my vote and a lot more that was going to vote republicans but we don’t want DeathDesantis any he will be like trump a one turn governor he’s has a low IQ

    • Tom

      July 2, 2022 at 11:35 am

      LMAO, low I q? Wanda is as low as the sea. Fish called Wanda, freshen self.

      Chameleon is a hypocrite, he will be spat out. Perennial loser. Fraud is extremist.

      Moms, Hispanics, independents, working people, parents love America’s Gov. you are clueless.
      Rising tide for all.

      America’s Gov wins re elect, potus next! DeSantis is the leader of Repub. party. Do for America what you’ve done for Florida.

      You Wanda are the 12 am pool girl.

  • Just a comment

    July 3, 2022 at 8:58 am

    I think that is understandable. Ron should not be following in bad to worsening tracks

Comments are closed.


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