Archbishop of Miami: Vote No on Abortion Amendment

Amendment 4, which will appear on the Florida ballot in November 2024, is an extreme proposal that legalizes full abortion without protections for the unborn child, even if the child can feel pain. This proposed amendment to our state constitution would ban all restrictions on abortion before viability and create a broad exception that any “health care provider” could exploit to allow abortion up to birth. I urge all Catholics and people of goodwill to vote “no” on Amendment 4.

This is not about imposing our views on society, but about making our proposal about what is necessary for human flourishing. By emphasizing that every person matters, we bring to public policy debates on issues of dignity, justice and peace an understanding of the individual that, while based on Christian scriptures, is also accessible to human reason. With our proposal we hope to convince our fellow Floridians to vote “no” on Amendment 4.

Thomas Wensky
Thomas Wenski is Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Miami.

We urge all voters of our state to join our opposition and reject this extreme and ill-conceived proposal.

Even those who disagree with the Church’s teaching that human life begins at conception should find reasons to oppose this amendment. For example, the amendment would effectively nullify or seriously endanger common-sense state laws that have regulated abortion for years. These include basic health and safety requirements for clinics where abortions are performed, informed consent requirements for physicians who perform abortions, laws limiting public funding of abortion, and requirements for parental consent before the abortion of a minor.

As Catholics, we believe that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision of society. By pushing for a no vote on Amendment 4, we are not only seeking to protect the unborn child – the weakest, most innocent and defenseless among us – but we are also seeking to protect countless women from the harms of abortion. Unborn children are important, and so are their mothers. Our Respect Life Ministry, through its Pregnancy Assistance Centers, helps provide women with life-affirming alternatives to abortion and provides compassionate counseling and access to healing to those who have regretted a past abortion.

Catholic teaching on the rights and dignity of every human being, from conception to natural death, stands in stark contrast to the tendency in our world to define classes or categories of people as “problems” and thus “dehumanize” them. Such reductive thinking led to the successive genocides of the 20th century and rationalizes the continued killing of the unborn. Last year, over 84,000 abortions took place in Florida alone! These are 84,000 reasons why all Floridians should reject Amendment 4 and say a resounding “no!” should vote.

Thomas Wenski is archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami.