Catholic Bishops of Florida Honor Representative Erin Grall with the Defensor Vitae / Defender of Life Award

Erin Grall, Florida House of Representatives, District 54, Vero Beach

While deeply appreciative of the service rendered by all members of the legislature, the bishops of Florida recognize special and notable achievements in the public square. This year, they are pleased to present the Defensor Vitae / Defender of Life Award to The Honorable Erin Grall, Florida House of Representatives, District 54, Vero Beach.

Elected to office in 2016, Grall has served with distinction on a range of committees, and currently chairs the House Public Integrity and Elections Committee.

In the 2020 legislative session, Grall sponsored HB 265 to restore the common-sense requirement that minors have the consent of a parent or guardian before undergoing an abortion. Sponsoring such a bill entails personal commitment and fortitude. While the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes abortion and works to make it unthinkable, the bill limits its harms and applies the same framework that exists for most every medical intervention for minors to abortion.

“In guiding this legislation through the House, mental acuity was sorely needed, and so was physical stamina,” said Michael Sheedy, executive director, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. “To be immersed in an emotionally-charged and sadly contentious topic for so long is no easy task, even for the most committed public servant. Representative Grall handled this task with grace and forthrightness.”

This was not Grall’s first bill to defend life. She also sponsored one of the first pain capable unborn child protection acts in 2019. And in 2018, she filed a bill to prohibit abortion by dismemberment of the child that passed the Florida House.

The award was presented to Grall during the 2021 Virtual Catholic Days at the Capitol held prior to this year’s legislative session.