Abortion advocates in Florida fight to put issue on 2024 ballot

Floridians Protecting Freedom collected more than 142K petitions for ballot initiative

ORLANDO, Fla. – Floridians Protecting Freedom, a newly formed political committee, is spearheading a campaign to get abortion access on the 2024 ballot.

During the legislative session, Florida lawmakers approved a bill that would ban abortion after six weeks.

Multiple organizations decided then that it was time to separate the government from personal decision-making.

The campaign is being led by Planned Parenthood, American Civils Liberties Union, Florida Rising and Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

They are working as a collective so that abortion is explicitly named as a constitutionally protected right.

With 900,000 petition signatures, they have a chance at getting an initiative on the ballot.

It seeks to ensure abortion will be accessible to people up to the point of viability, which is generally interpreted as 24 weeks.

Amy Weintraub is the Reproductive Rights Program Director at Progress Florida, one of the many groups supporting Floridians Protecting Freedom.

“The Legislature is not protecting us, so it is critical that the people stand up and take back their voice and their power and their right to make their own healthcare decisions,” Weintraub said.

She helped set up more than 50 hubs statewide that are passing out and collecting petitions. Weintraub also helped train 2,000 volunteers, so she and the team are confident they will reach their goal by Dec. 15.

So far, more than 142,000 petitions have been signed and counting.

Weintraub said she did not expect to see this big of a figure until the end of July.

Elected officials and community leaders, including State Rep. Anna Eskamani and State Rep. Rep. Carlos Guillermo-Smith, posted photos on Twitter to show they are joining the fight.

“It has been a real shot in the arm for us to see this level of support this early,” Weintraub said.

Opposing groups, like Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America, said a constitutional ballot amendment is dangerous and would impose an extreme abortion regime that would prevent common ground protection for women and children.

A representative for the organization issued the following statement.

“Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are launching multi-million-dollar initiatives in multiple states to deceive voters into enshrining late-term abortions and eroding parental rights. With 62% of Floridians supporting the heartbeat law – including 61% of Independents and 58% of women -- the ACLU’s attempt to buy their way to imposing a deceptive, radical abortion measure will not work in the pro-life state of Florida.”

Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America spokesperson

Weintraub said the support for abortion access has only gone up in Florida since the Legislature and the Gov. Ron DeSantis passed the “onerous near total abortion ban.”

If the constitution is changed, it won’t impact the law restricting abortion access among minors.

The campaign deadline for petitions is Dec. 15, but the state deadline is Feb. 1.

The Florida Supreme Court must sign off on the wording of the proposed initiative before it makes it to the ballot.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.