Abortion rights citizen initiative clears signature threshold, closer to making the 2024 ballot

Florida voters are one step closer to getting the opportunity to weigh in on abortion.


A citizen initiative that aims to restore abortion access to levels seen before Roe V Wade was overturned has officially collected the necessary signatures for placement on the 2024 ballot.

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With 910,946 valid signatures, the initiative surpassed the required threshold by nearly 20,000.

“It demonstrated just the incredible support we have across this state to restore our freedoms,” said State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando).

Eskamani, who worked for Planned Parenthood before running for office, noted the fight is far from over.

The effort still needs to be reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court however, which could decide to block the initiative from the ballot if it deems the ballot language would mislead voters or that the initiative violates the single subject rule.

Read: Abortion initiative hits milestone for getting in front of Florida voters

“This supreme court is conservative, majority appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis. However, the language of this ballot initiative is incredibly clear,” said Eskamani.

But Florida’s Attorney General and supporters of abortion restrictions argue that language is not clear.

Andrew Shrivell with Florida Voice for the Unborn contended the term ‘viability’ in the amendment doesn’t have a clear definition.

“It would legalize abortion up until the moment of birth for just about any reason and there’s pretty much nothing that the legislature or the governor or any of our governmental entities could do to interfere with that so-called super state-charged constitutional right,” said Shirvell.

Read: Arguments set in February on proposed Florida abortion rights constitutional amendment measure

But Eskamani countered viability is defined in state law and has historically been understood to occur around 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

“And [it] would not allow for there to be an abortion provided to that gestational level. And anyone who says that lying and being disingenuous and trying to use hyperbolic language to scare people from supporting this initiative,” said Eskamani.

The proposal is set for a hearing before the Florida Supreme Court on February 7th.

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If it’s approved for the ballot, 60 percent of voters would have to vote yes for it to make it into the state constitution.

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