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

A pro-abortion advocacy group announced that its ballot measure seeking to enshrine abortion rights in the Florida Constitution has amassed the required number of signatures, moving 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 statement Friday, the Florida Division of Elections verified 910,946 petitions submitted by the campaign.

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

the “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion” which Floridians Protecting Freedom led states, “No law shall prohibit, punish, delay or limit abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient's health, as determined by the patient's health care provider.” It emphasizes that “this amendment does not alter the constitutional authority of the Legislature to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.”

Florida's ballot measure is one of several that have appeared since the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2022 ruling. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organizationa decision that determined that the American 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 of pregnancy. If passed, the proposed ballot initiative would repeal pro-life protections in the state.

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

While the ballot initiatives establishing constitutional rights to abortion passed overwhelmingly in the heavily Democratic-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 initiative is the subject of a lawsuit pending before the Florida Supreme Court. Florida Voters Against Extremism, represented by the Christian conservative legal group Liberty Counsel, filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court claiming that the proposed constitutional amendment violates the requirements for voter initiatives because it violates the single-issue rule.

Liberty Counsel asserted that the proposal addresses “multiple issues, including pre-life abortions and health,” ideas it characterizes as “distinct.” In statement, Liberty Counsel Founder and President 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 'health care provider' may deem necessary to protect the woman's 'health,'” Liberty Counsel's statement says. “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 February 7. Liberty Counsel also maintains that the proposal violates federal law because it would “allow Partial-Birth Abortion, which is prohibited by the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Prohibition Act. .”

In a phone call with members of the media ahead of last year's Ohio abortion referendum, officials with the pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America identified Florida as one of several states where abortion advocates were working to push 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 measures currently have abortion restrictions in place. However, some of them are currently bound in court. The pro-life advocacy group estimates that abortion restrictions enacted by the governments of the states that could soon see abortion-related electoral referendums will save more than 26,000 babies combined on an annual basis, preventing 3,805 abortions a year in Florida.

Source: www.christianpost.com

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