Florida abortion measure qualifies for 2024 ballot, but its fate hinges on court ruling

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida election officials confirmed Friday that a proposed abortion rights amendment has qualified for the 2024 ballot, but its future hinges on a Florida Supreme Court decision.

Floridians Protecting Freedom, the sponsor of “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion,” announced the Florida Division of Elections designated it as Amendment 4.

Poll: Over 60% of Florida voters support proposed abortion, marijuana amendments

“Today, our campaign to limit government interference with abortion reached a historic milestone with the assignment of an official ballot number,” Campaign Director Lauren Brenzel said in a statement. “This November, Floridians should have the chance to vote for Amendment 4 to return control of our bodies and futures back to us, where these personal decisions belong.”

The amendment, which would enshrine the right to abortion in the Florida Constitution, still has a major hurdle to clear before voters can weigh in.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody submitted the measure to the Florida Supreme Court for judicial review last October, but justices have yet to make a decision. The court is set to hear oral arguments in the case on Feb. 7.

Moody argues the wording of the ballot summary is too misleading for voters, specifically taking issue with the word “viability.” Attorneys for Floridians Protecting Freedom slammed Moody’s arguments as politically motivated and said voters understand the “common-sense” definition of terms like “viability.”

Florida Supreme Court to hear arguments in abortion amendment case

The state’s existing abortion law is also tied up in the courts. As it stands, pregnant Floridians can terminate their pregnancies up to 15 weeks. A 6-week ban will immediately go into effect if the Florida Supreme Court determines the current restrictions can stand.

Advocates worry the overwhelmingly conservative makeup of the court, with five of the seven justices appointed by DeSantis, means the citizen initiatives are effectively dead in the water. Florida’s Supreme Court justices also have strong ties to the pro-life movement and legislative advocacy.

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