Abortion access amendment gets enough petitions for Florida Supreme Court review

If approved, the amendment would go on the 2024 ballot

A ballot petition for the Florida proposed amendment to limit government interference with abortion. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – An amendment for the 2024 election that would allow abortions in Florida up to the viability of a fetus is one step closer to being on the ballot.

Floridians Protecting Freedom said it has more than a third of the needed petitions already validated with the state, and has officially met the threshold to trigger a review of the ballot measure by the Florida Supreme Court.

To get on a ballot, a proposed constitutional amendment must get petitions signed by 891,523 voters across the state, with 8% of the voters coming from at least half of Florida’s congressional districts. But before that, the amendment needs to be reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court to determine that the amendment follows state law.

To get to that review, supporters needed to collect 222,881 petitions, signed by 25% of voters in half the state’s congressional districts.

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According to the Florida Division of Elections, so far the campaign has 297,891 petitions.

Floridians Protecting Freedom started its petition campaign in May, and organizers have told News 6 before that they have been overwhelmed by the amount of support.

“Florida has never seen a citizen initiative with the momentum and grassroots support of our amendment to limit government interference in personal medical decisions,” said Moné Holder, Executive Committee member for FPF, in a news release.

FPF’s proposal would prohibit laws from restricting, delaying or penalizing abortions before viability, usually 24 to 28 weeks of gestation, or when it’s necessary to protect the health of the patient, as determined by a health care provider.

Currently, Florida has a ban on abortions after 15 weeks, which was put in place by the Florida Legislature in 2022. On Friday, the Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit that claims the 15-week abortion ban is a violation of the Florida Constitution’s right to privacy.

If the Supreme Court sides with the state in favor of the 15-week abortion ban, it will lead to an even stricter ban going into effect. That would ban abortions after six weeks, which the legislature approved earlier this year.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.