MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — Commissioners in Santa Rosa County voted against an abortion trigger ban leading to a heated argument among board members.
Commissioner James Calkins is trying to ban abortions in the county by proposing the “All Lives Matter” ordinance.
“I ran for office to push our Christian values and to save babies as best I can,” said Calkins during a Thursday morning meeting.
In order for a county to ban abortions, two things must happen. The Florida Supreme Court has to determine abortion is not protected by the Florida constitution and the state legislature would have to authorize local governments to regulate abortion. For that reason, other commissioners said there’s no point in passing it.
“The paper it’s written on is useless,” said Commissioner Colten Wright. “It means nothing. We could just as easily say if unicorns show up tomorrow, it’s illegal to be in possession of a unicorn.”
Tempers flared when Calkins accused his fellow board members of not being pro-life when they said they would not vote for the ordinance.
“Never run for county commissioner again claiming you’re pro-life,” said Calkins.
“Don’t tell me what to do, period,” said Chairman Bob Cole. “You make me wish now I’d run again.”
In a public hearing, several people spoke out against an abortion ban.
“The ordinance would impose egregious political and religious views on personal healthcare decisions,” said one resident. “This ordinance is anti-freedom.”
“We had a board member say as a Christian I support this ordinance,” said one woman. “That, my friend, should be illegal.”
There were also people who want to see a ban on abortions even though it’s not possible on the local level.
“Just have to go back to what God says in his word,” a man said from the podium. “He says thou shalt not murder.”
“We do not want an abortion facility in this county,” a woman told the board. “That is not the tourism we want to have.”
County commissioners are now working to amend the land development code to ban abortion clinics from being built.