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Florida state rep. to speak at anti-abortion event

State Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka (Pic by Meredith Geddings, via myfloridahouse.gov)

Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, will speak at an upcoming event for Personhood Florida, the group aiming to outlaw abortion and some forms of birth control in the state.

On Fri., Sept. 16, the group will host the head of Georgia Right to Life, Dan Becker. Under Becker’s leadership, the group has lobbied against abortion, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and euthanasia.

On July 20, the group placed a straw poll question on Republican primary ballots in 47 counties in Georgia, which served as a barometer of sorts on anti-abortion beliefs. “Do you support an amendment to the Georgia state constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the earliest biological beginning until natural death?” read the poll. The poll passed in every county.

Becker will be introduced by Florida Rep. Van Zant, a vocal anti-abortion advocate. Van Zant filed a bill last January echoing some of the language in many “Personhood” measures, but was more overtly religious in its tone.

The legislation — known as the “Florida for Life Act,” House Bill 415 (.pdf) — aimed to prohibit induced abortions and punish abortion doctors as felons should they violate the measures included in the bill.

The bill also stated that “all life comes from the Creator and begins at conception,” and included language explicitly stating that the United States Supreme Court is not qualified to “determine, establish, or define the moral values of the people of the United States and specifically for the people of Florida.”

“Florida state representative Charles Van Zant, author of the Florida for Life bill, is the first statesman in our history to introduce a bill in our state that would end abortion without exception,” states a press release for the upcoming Personhood Florida event. “Van Zant will provide an update on his bill.”

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