Florida is asking the state Supreme Court to keep the abortion rights amendment off the November ballot

Founder and President of Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver speaks to reporters outside the Florida Supreme Court after telling the justices that a proposed amendment protecting abortion rights should be kept off the ballot Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, in Tallahassee, Florida.  (AP Photo/Brendan Farrington)

(Brendan Farrington/Associated Press)

Florida is asking the state Supreme Court to keep the abortion rights amendment off the November ballot



February 10, 2024

Advocates are trying to keep an abortion rights measure off the ballot in Florida

to have

told the state Supreme Court

on Wednesday

that the proposed amendment is deceptive, and that voters will not realize how far it will expand access to the procedure.

But the judges,

during a hearing on February 7

They seemed to think the proposed ballot question is less a wolf in sheep’s clothing and more a clear attempt to stop the state from restricting most abortions.

This is a wolf come as a wolf, said Chief Justice Carlos Muniz, one of the Republican administration’s five appointees. Ron DeSantis on the seven-member court. The people of Florida are not stupid. They can figure it out.

The proposed amendment says that no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before it becomes viable or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s health care provider. It provides one exception, which is already in the state constitution, requiring parents to be notified before their minor children can get an abortion.

Lawyers for

Attorney General Aty. Gene.

Ashley Moody and the religious freedom group Liberty Counsel told the justices they would essentially ban all restrictions.

The state of Florida, through the legislature, through the executive branch and also through the courts, will not be able to protect women or regulate any aspect of abortion, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver told reporters after the arguments. It’s free for everyone. It is a total deregulation of abortion, which is downright deceptive.

Supporters of the proposed amendment say the language of the ballot summary and the proposed amendment are terse and that Moody is playing politics instead of letting voters decide whether they want to protect access to abortions.

The language of the summary and amendment is clear and unambiguous,” Courtney Brewer, an attorney with Floridians Protecting Freedom, told reporters after the hearing. “Florida voters will be able to understand that and based on the courts asking questions today, I’m confident they understand that too.”

The group

Floridians who protect freedom

collected nearly 1 million signatures from voters, well more than the 891,523 needed to vote. The court has made that clear

it is his

The role is not to make a ruling on the content of the proposed amendment, but rather whether it is appropriately focused on a single issue, and whether voters will understand what they are voting on.

If the question is allowed on the ballot, 60% of voters would have to agree. Florida is one of several states where voters can have a direct say on abortion issues this year. There has been great pressure across the country

abortion rights issues

for voters since the U.S. Supreme Court

overturned Roe v. calf

and abolished the national right to abortion. Referendums to guarantee abortion rights have been set in Maryland and New York, and activists on both sides of the issue in at least seven other states are working on measures for 2024 ballot measures. The case also tests whether DeSantis, who also holds all three women on the bench, has changed the course of a court that in recent years has interpreted a privacy clause in the state constitution to strike down some abortion restrictions. A ruling is expected on April 1. Both sides in the debate are also awaiting the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling on whether a 15-week abortion ban should be upheld.

passed two years ago

. Last year, lawmakers went further and further

passed a ban after six weeks

, which is before many women even know they are pregnant, but that law won’t go into effect if the court rejects the 2022 ban signed by DeSantis. If the question is allowed on the ballot, 60% of voters would have to approve it. Any change in abortion access in Florida

would be felt outside the state

also because the Sunshine State has traditionally been a haven for women in the southeastern US seeking abortions. Nearby Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy. Georgia and South Carolina ban terminating pregnancies once heart activity can be detected.


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