Abortion rights group reports it has enough signatures for referendum

by | Dec 20, 2023

  • Floridians Protecting Freedom, an abortion rights advocacy group, reports surpassing the state-required threshold of 891,523 verified signatures, claiming more than 1.4 million for a constitutional amendment to establish abortion rights until fetal viability.
  • The amendment, which aims to counter Florida’s existing 15-week abortion limit, has 753,771 signatures validated so far, with further authentication needed from the Secretary of State.
  • The initiative’s permissibility is contingent on a Florida Supreme Court review, with concerns raised by the State Attorney General about potentially misleading language.
  • It faces opposition from anti-abortion groups like Florida Voice For The Unborn, as well as an alternative ‘Human Life Protection Amendment’ initiative.

A group advocating for abortion rights claims it has surpassed the required number of signatures to place a constitutional amendment on 2024 ballots in Florida.

Floridians Protecting Freedom, the organization behind the initiative, states it has collected more than 1.4 million petitions, surpassing the 891,523 verified signatures mandated by state law.

The proposed amendment seeks to establish the right to abortion in Florida up until the point of fetal viability — estimated at around 24 weeks. Current state law prohibits most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and an expanded six-week abortion limit is being decided on by courts.

“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,” reads the ballot initiative’s summary.

As of this writing, the amendment initiative has 753,771 validated signatures with the state, meaning that the remaining reported total must be registered and authenticated by Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd.

“We are on track to submit 1.4 million petitions by the end of the year, surpassing our initial goal of 1.25 million signatures,” the organization stated.

While the campaign has reportedly met its signature quota, the initiative’s future hinges on the decision of Florida’s Supreme Court. State Attorney General Ashley Moody has raised concerns over the amendment’s language, suggesting it could mislead voters.

In addition to collecting the statewide signatures, the campaign must meet specific thresholds in at least half of Florida’s 28 congressional districts. As per the latest updates, the campaign has achieved the required number of signatures in just eight districts.

The effort has drawn support from various advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Florida, as well as Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book. According to campaign disclosures, nearly $9 million has been raised.

Opposition to the amendment has been vocal, with anti-abortion groups actively campaigning against the measure. The groups have initiated efforts like the “Decline to Sign” campaign, led by Florida Voice For The Unborn. Pro-life advocates have also filed the ‘Human Life Protection Amendment‘ initiative, which would recognize the “God-given right to life of the preborn individual.” The campaign currently has 30,153 signatures registered with the state.


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