By Dave Andrusko
Pro-life Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended Andrew Warren, the Hillsborough County state attorney, for pledging not to enforce the state’s new abortion law, which took effect July 1. The law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the abortion is necessary to save the woman’s life, prevent serious injury or if the unborn child has a fatal abnormality.
DeSantis selected Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Susan Lopez to replace Warren during his suspension.
“When you flagrantly violate your oath of office, when you make yourself above the law, you have violated your duty, you have neglected your duty and you are displaying a lack of competence to be able to perform those duties,” DeSantis said to cheers.
“DeSantis focused heavily on Warren’s signing of statements where prosecutors from across the country said they won’t use their offices to pursue criminal cases against seekers or providers of abortion,” the Associated Press reported. “More than 90 district attorneys, state attorneys general and other elected prosecutors across the U.S. have signed the letter saying they don’t intend to prosecute people for seeking, providing or supporting abortions.”
“The governor’s suspension of State Attorney Warren is not political to me. It’s about law and order. It’s about ensuring our loved ones are safe. It’s about the victims and their voices,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. He said Warren has been acting as a kind of “supreme authority by reducing charges, dropping cases and singlehandedly determining what crimes will be legal or illegal in our county.”
DeSantis said Warren’s conduct has fallen “below the standard of the Florida Constitution” and that he’s neglected his duty to state law,” the AP reported.
“I don’t think the people of Hillsborough County want to have an agenda that is basically woke, where you’re deciding that your view of social justice means certain laws shouldn’t be enforced,” DeSanctis said.
On April 14, when Gov. DeSantis signed the “Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act” (House Bill 5) into law, he said “It’s a statement of our values that every life is important.”
DeSantis said being able to sign the bill prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks was “really meaningful.”
“We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” DeSantis said on a stage surrounded by lawmakers, pro-life advocates and children. “This will represent the most significant protections for life that we have seen in a generation.”
The bill signing come just days after Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey upheld a 24-hour waiting period, a law passed way back in 2015. “Twenty-six other states have similar restrictions, some of which have been in effect for many years. Moreover, plaintiffs can point to no evidence that these laws have prevented any women — let alone all women — who desire an abortion from obtaining one.”
“Previously, Florida had allowed abortion through the second trimester of a pregnancy, making it one of the most permissive states for abortion in the southeast,” according to CNN’s Steve Contorno. “According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida reported 71,914 abortions in 2019, or 18.5 per 1,000 women, the third highest rate in the country.
HB 5 passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 78-39 and the Senate by a 23-15.