Florida Supreme Court Orders Abortion Amendment Be Placed On Ballot In November

(Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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The Florida Supreme Court ruled Monday that an abortion amendment can be placed on the ballot in November.

The amendment states that “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,” and was submitted by Floridians Protecting Freedom (FPF). Republican Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody argued in October 2023 that the amendment’s language did not “satisfy the legal requirements,” but the state’s Supreme Court disagreed, saying that there was no “basis” to conclude that the amendment should not be placed on the ballot. (RELATED: Biden’s Reelection Plan Hinges On Abortion Voters. That May Be A Huge Mistake)

“We conclude the proposed amendment complies with the single-subject requirement of article XI, section 3 of the Florida constitution, and that the ballot and the summary comply with section 101.161(1), Florida Statutes,” the order reads. “And there is no basis for concluding that the proposed amendment is facially invalid under the United States Constitution. Accordingly, we approve the proposed amendment for placement on the ballot.”

A woman, who chose to remain anonymous, talks to Doctor Audrey (R) before recieving an abortion at a Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 14, 2022. - Planned Parenthood clinics in Florida have opened their doors on weekends and extended their working hours, with 12-hour days in some clinics, to handle the influx of out-of-state patients, most of them from Georgia, Alabama or Texas. While Florida has reduced its window for abortions to the 15th week of pregnancy -- it was previously the 24th week -- the state's laws are still among the most permissive in the southeast United States. Other Republican-led states in the area -- including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia -- have almost completely banned the practice or reduced the window to six weeks, seizing on the Supreme Court's stunning reversal of the nationwide right to abortion. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

A woman, who chose to remain anonymous, talks to Doctor Audrey (R) before receiving an abortion at a Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 14, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

The court also chastised the dissenting justices for arguing that a ballot initiative should have a “warning label” informing voters that the proposal contains controversial language.

“We see no basis in law or common sense to require a ballot summary to announce, as if in a warning label, ‘caution: this amendment contains terms with contestible meanings or applications,'” the majority opinion reads. “Voters can see and decide for themselves how the specificity of the proposal’s terms relates to the proposal’s merits. For reasons that are evident from what we have already said, none of this is convincing.”

The amendment would not change Florida law, which requires minors to notify their parents or guardians before having an abortion, according to the text.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law in May 2023 banning abortion at six weeks gestation or after a fetal heartbeat is detected, with limited exceptions of up to 15 weeks in cases of rape, incest, human trafficking or to protect the life of the mother.

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