Florida abortion amendment has enough signatures to appear on the ballot this year


A pro-abortion advocacy group has announced that its ballot measure seeking to enshrine a right to abortion in the Florida Constitution has amassed the required number of signatures, making it one step closer to appearing on the ballot this fall.

Floridians Protecting Freedom, the organization behind the push to make abortion a constitutional right in the Sunshine State, shared in a statement Friday that the Florida Division of Elections verified 910,946 petitions submitted by the campaign.

The activist group says it has accumulated 20,000 more than the required minimum number of signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. 

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The “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion” that Floridians Protecting Freedom has spearheaded declares, “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.” It stresses that “this amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.” 

The Florida ballot measure is one of several that have popped up following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationdecision, which determined that the U.S. Constitution does not contain a right to abortion. Similar initiatives passed in California, Michigan and Vermont in the 2022 elections and Ohio in the 2023 election. 

Current Florida law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks gestation. If passed, the proposed ballot initiative would nullify the pro-life protections in place in the state.

However, the effort to enshrine a right to abortion in the Florida Constitution contains a unique hurdle not present in the other states where voters have approved the idea: a 60% threshold for passage instead of a simple majority.

While the ballot measures establishing constitutional rights to abortion passed overwhelmingly in the strongly Democrat-leaning states of California and Vermont, the initiatives failed to reach 60% support in the more competitive states of Michigan and Ohio. 

Additionally, the ballot measure is the subject of litigation pending before the Florida Supreme Court. Florida Voters Against Extremism, represented by the Christian conservative legal group Liberty Counsel, has filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court contending that the proposed constitutional amendment violates the requirements for voter initiatives because it runs afoul of the single-subject rule. 

Liberty Counsel asserted that the proposal addresses “multiple subjects, including pre-viability abortions and health,” ideas that it characterizes as “distinct.” In a statement, Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver insisted that “the proposed amendment does not meet the requirements for a voter initiative and must be rejected.” He also warned that “the language of this deceptive and deliberately confusing amendment would authorize abortion for any reason at any time up to birth.”

“The effect of the proposed amendment would prevent the State of Florida from regulating all abortions that a vague and undefined ‘healthcare provider’ may deem necessary to protect the woman’s ‘health,'" the Liberty Counsel statement reads. "The amendment leaves the terms ‘necessary’ and ‘health’ purposefully undefined and vague.” 

The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Feb. 7. Liberty Counsel also maintains that the proposal violates federal law because it “would permit Partial-Birth Abortion, which is banned by the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.” 

In a phone call with members of the media ahead of last year’s abortion referendum in Ohio, officials with the pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America identified Florida as one of several states where abortion activists were working to put the idea of a constitutional amendment establishing a right to abortion before voters. Other states where such measures could come before voters soon include Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. 

Like Florida, the other states mentioned by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America as targets for pro-abortion ballot initiatives currently have abortion restrictions in place. However, some of them are presently tied up in court. The pro-life advocacy group estimates that abortion restrictions enacted by the governments of the states that could soon see abortion-related ballot referendums will save more than 26,000 babies combined on an annual basis, preventing 3,805 abortions a year in Florida.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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