Abortion foes press DeSantis for quick action on additional abortion restrictions
Andrew Shirvell of Florida Voice for the Unborn speaks at an anti-abortion rally on the steps of the Historic Florida Capitol Building May 24, 2022. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

‘If they can’t get something done now, boy, there’s very little hope …’

Anti-abortion activists plan to rally at the Florida Capitol when the Legislature gathers there on Nov. 22 to reorganize following the Midterm Elections and demand that lawmakers take up new restrictions on the procedure before the end of the year.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed a Special Session within that frame to approve property tax relief for people whose homes and businesses were damaged or wiped away by Hurricane Ian, plus insurance market reforms.

He has been silent on whether he’d expand that session to take up abortion.

“We have nothing further to announce at this time beyond the initial call,” Bryan Griffin, press secretary for the Governor said in an email on Thursday. (DeSantis hasn’t issued a formal call but has announced agreement with legislative leaders to convene.)

Andrew Shirvell, founder and head of Florida Voice of the Unborn, called upon DeSantis following his re-election Tuesday night — and the election of enough Republicans to constitute supermajorities in the House and Senate — to act soon.

“We have supermajorities now in the Florida Senate and in the Florida House. I mean, if they can’t get something done now, boy, there’s very little hope of them actually ever getting anything done,” Shirvell said in a telephone interview.

Legislative leaders plan to convene the House and Senate on the day of the organizational session, swear in their members, do other routine business, and go home. Thanksgiving happens two days later, meaning a special session could convene sometime in December. The Legislature has scheduled committee meetings for the week of Dec. 12, so that might be a good time to convene.

Shirvell said his and other anti-abortion groups plan to bus activists to the Capitol for the occasion. They’re also conducting a postcard campaign to encourage legislators to approve a total ban on abortion, with exceptions to protect the life of the pregnant person but not for rape or incest. He supports criminal penalties for doctors but not patients, he said.

“The biggest way we’re going to do that is when they’re all gathered together, all of them — all the state senators, all the members of the House, the governor — everybody’s going to be in on that organizational session. And they’re going to hear Florida citizens loud and clear that we want the No. 1 priority for our Legislature to be addressing the rights of the unborn in our state.”

15-week ban

Anna Eskamani, an Orange County Democrat who was reelected on Tuesday, said in phone interview that she’s heard nothing about extending the planned special session to take up abortion, but predicted it would arise during the regular session that begins in March.

“Obviously, having a supermajority, they can push whatever they want to push through. We will have to be ready,” Eskamani said.

The Legislature this year approved, and DeSantis signed into law, a ban on abortions in Florida after 15 weeks past the last menstrual period. A state trial judge issued an order in July blocking enforcement of the ban but higher courts are allowing it to be enforced pending an appeal.

Shirvell’s group, headquartered in Tallahassee, had called upon DeSantis in October to expand the special session to include abortion.

The Governor has indicated a willingness to “expand pro-life protections,” but ducked the issue during his reelection campaign. He had sounded a cautious note on the topic in August, noting that getting the 15-week ban through even a friendly Legislature was difficult.

“We were happy that we were able to achieve it. And so, you know, we look forward and we welcome future endeavors. But we realize there’s still going to be a fight on the legal end on that,” he said at the time.

DeSantis aides are discussing a possible six-week abortion ban, the USA Today Network-Florida has reported.


Michael Moline reporting via Florida Phoenix.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [email protected]. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Florida Phoenix

Florida Phoenix is a news and opinion outlet focused on government and political news coverage within the state of Florida.


  • Donald J Trump

    November 11, 2022 at 11:16 am

    I will be making 3 announcements soon
    #1 – Me, Barron, Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and Melania will all be running for president in 2024. This is so that others will be pushed out of the race.
    #2 – If they even think about trying to charge me with any crime, I will flee the country with all the campaign money that I grifted.
    #3 – If Florida’s average Governor Ron DeSanctimonious runs in 2024, I will humiliate, embarrass, degrade, and dehumanize him in front of the world. He will be 2ft tall when I am finished. He better stick to being America’s average governor.

    • eva

      November 13, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      Quick replay and persistent on-line interest helped me routinely produce more than $26,372 in additional domestic revenue. My actual earnings with my highest domestic sales were $18,636. Certainly, everyone can now.

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  • Elliott Offen

    November 11, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    Conservative leaders are all empty suits…their rhetoric and grandstanding is all a theater production. They do nothing but mitigate disaster and assure a constant stream of people going to jail. Other than that, present a facade of someone being in charge while the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else. They do absolutely nothing for the common person. Freedom for the rich and freedom t-shirts for everyone else.

  • Ocean Joe

    November 11, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Thank God that in the Free State of Florida, somebody (this dufus on the steps) has finally shown up to tell everybody else what to do with their own bodies.

  • marylou

    November 11, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Shirvell is a disgraced, disbarred, Michigan ex-attorney who “demonstrated an egregious failure of professional judgment and character.” So he moved to Florida to spread his hate and misogyny.

    Extreme anti-abortionist Shirvell is demanding that Desantis ban birth control as well as abortion. Earlier this year, Shirvell told Desantis and the Florida Legislature, “The contraceptive mentality is what fuels the bloodthirsty abortion industry in our country.” This statement was removed from Shirvell’s website for the 2022 election. It’s on tape though.

    Desantis vetoed Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (99.9% effective) for poor women and teens, after being ordered to do so by the Catholic Church and Shirvell. Desantis knew his veto would result in many poor women having unwanted pregnancies and births. But Desantis chose to impose his radical religion on women anyway.

    Desantis plans to ban all abortions, even for raped little girls. These men are sadistic monsters that demand we all live under their religion! They don’t respect the traditional values and freedom that America was built on, and that keep our country great.

    It is time to stop the government takeover of women’s bodies. Get religion out of women’s uteruses.

  • Daniela Patterson

    November 11, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    Another 4 years of DeSantis will be a Disaster! Handmaid’s tale comes to mind!

    • cassandra of the swamp

      November 12, 2022 at 12:36 pm

      Lysistratic non-action comes to mind!

      and economic boycotts, withdrawal of bank deposits, etc. I think we have leaned that bumper stickers will not work for this one.

  • woke

    November 12, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    The Holy Bible doesn’t condemn abortion. See for yourself. The Florida Constitution guarantees the right to privacy including one’s choice to obtain medical care such as abortion. As if the appellate courts have ruled on the appeal finding last year’s abortion law unconstitutional, some carpetbagger dude calls for even more draconian laws to further invade Floridians’ privacy rights. Geeze, what happened to our freedoms in Florida?

    • cassandra of the swamp

      November 12, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      Exactly! Evangelicals only became anti-abortionists when they needed Catholic votes to deny Carter a 2nd term. Purely political. It’s all a lie, and the anti-abortion industry is making millions of $$ off it. Hustler Shirvell uses the scam to pay his bills.

      It’s outrageous that women are now in a position where some pos with a megaphone gets to dictate that our fundamental right to bodily autonomy should be taken from us. And demand that the government enforce his own personal religious beliefs on women! Men would not tolerate this being done to them.

      It looks like women and pro-womens’ rights men will need to actually fight back with some kind of organized action. Unfortunately there are far too many people who don’t care until something affects them personally. The only way to stop this trip to Gilead is to make it cost them something. Hopefully some rights group will start to put something together..

    • Save lives

      November 13, 2022 at 7:10 am

      The Holy Bible does very much condemn abortion, beginning in the Old Testament and made very clear in the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses on Mt Sinai:
      “Thou shalt not kill.”
      Abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent human life. Technology has been available for decades that record the image and heartbeat of these innocent children.

      • marylou

        November 13, 2022 at 2:50 pm

        The Bible:
        Gen 2:7 “Lord formed man of dust from the ground and BREATHED into his nostrils the BREATH OF LIFE, and the man BECAME A LIVING CREATURE.”

        Numbers 3:39 “Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, by their families, all the males from a MONTH OLD AND ABOVE”

        So the Bible says BREATH, not heartbeat, brainwaves, or ultrasound. Not “formed me”, not “knew me”. Fetuses aren’t living in God’s sense of the word. So killing would not apply to a fetus.

        Moses didn’t count babies until they were at least one month of age. God and Moses did not count fetuses.

        According to the Bible, God considers adding or subtracting from His Word a serious offense. How do you think He would feel about the Anti-abortion Industry fundraising off doing that??

  • eva

    November 12, 2022 at 2:56 pm


  • eva

    November 12, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Quick replay and persistent on-line interest helped me routinely produce more than $26,300 in additional domestic revenue. My actual earnings with my highest domestic sales were $18,636. Certainly, everyone can now.

    Utilize to increase your online income—————————->>> rq.fyi/jbVCbv

  • Duke from Hazard

    November 12, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    “Desantis knew his veto would result in many poor women having unwanted pregnancies and births.”
    Unwanted pregnancies are easy to avoid and every female knows how to do it. But girls just wanna have fun.
    And when you really think about it, it’s just that same old feminine whine about how they can’t be men, too. Every woman wants God to apologize to them.

    • cassandra of the swamp

      November 13, 2022 at 1:15 pm

      Every unwanted pregnancy begins with a penis, Duke. Men need to ejaculate responsibly, or keep it zipped up.

      Use a condom, Duke. Get a vasectomy, or abstain from reckless sexual behavior. It’s your careless, uncontrolled sexual urges, Duke, that are causing ALL unwanted pregnancies.

      Women do not self-impregnate, Duke, but I suggest you go give that a try.

  • PeterH

    November 12, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    It’s called FREEDUMB! Ron DeSantis supports FREEDUMB!

    Ron DeSantis and his apologists support the red wave. Republican’s Senate win tonight indicates that Tom the Florida Politic’s “LEGEND”…… is the top political predictor!

  • James

    November 14, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Middle Ages. Have bans ever helped, will they do it underground, at home in unsanitary conditions, will ruin even more lives.

    • Tom

      November 14, 2022 at 2:02 pm

      Oh well in that case just legalize everything. People will do things regardless, so just make it legal

  • Josh Green

    November 14, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Forcing poorer people to have more kids they can’t afford is not going to have the effect on the future of the country that the Republicans think it will.

  • marylou

    November 17, 2022 at 11:57 am

    The anti-abortion industry is dictating to legislators for government control of women’s bodies and lives— including IVF and contraceptives—- in their own words to legislators:


  • Tallahassee Insider

    November 22, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    It’ll never happen. DeSantis wants to run for POTUS, and he knows that this is a losing issue on the national stage. The right just got thumped across the board in the rest of the country.

Comments are closed.


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