Florida Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Proposed Abortion Measure


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court next month will hear arguments on whether a proposed ballot measure ensuring abortion rights is worded specifically enough. The measure is already close to having enough petition signatures to appear on the ballot in November, meaning abortion rights could be restored in Florida if 60% of voters approved it.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is leading the resistance against the measure, saying it's unreasonably vague and potentially deceptive to voters. If the state Supreme Court sides with her, they may block it from being put on the ballot, delaying potential changes for at least two more years. Five of the seven justices on the Court are appointees of Gov. Ron DeSantis, while the other two were appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist. DeSantis has always been staunchly pro-life, and then-Republican Crist also identified as such during his one term as governor.

The text of the proposed amendment reads as follows: "Limiting government interference with abortion.— Except as provided in Article X, Section 22, 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."

Floridians Protecting Freedom, the organization pushing for the abortion measure's inclusion on the ballot, says they're confident they'll easily eclipse the requirements needed for ballot access. Where Moody contends that the word 'viability' is open to wide interpretation, FPF organizers argue the definition where abortion is concerned is well-understood.

Whatever the Florida Supreme Court decides on February 7th will likely be instrumental in the future of abortion laws in Florida. It's currently illegal to obtain an abortion in Florida after 15 weeks into the pregnancy, with many lawmakers pushing for even stricter laws. Gov. Ron DeSantis, currently a presidential candidate, supports abortion bans at six weeks of pregnancy.