Abortion Ballot Initiative Set to Appear on November Ballot

On Monday, the Florida Supreme Court approved the “Amendment to Limit Government Interference With Abortion” for the November ballot. The ruling came on the final day the Court had to issue a ruling.

The ballot initiative, now known as Amendment 4, was sponsored by Floridians Protecting Freedom, a coalition of organizations launched in May 2023 consisting of organizations including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU of Florida, Florida Rising, 1199 SEIU Florida, the Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition, and Voices of Florida Fund.

“Today, the Court affirmed what we’ve known all along: that Amendment 4 clearly satisfies the requirements for placement on the ballot,” said Lauren Brenzel, Campaign Director for the Yes on 4 campaign. Brenzel continued, “We are thrilled Floridians will have the opportunity to reclaim their bodily autonomy and freedom from government interference by voting for Amendment 4 this November.”

The amendment that voters will vote on reads:

“Except as provided in Article X, Section 22, 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.”

Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody had petitioned the Court to reject the proposed ballot initiative on the grounds that the text was misleading to voters. Filings from Moody pointed to usage of the word “viability” as “intentionally misleading” to voters.

The Court disagreed by a 4-3 vote, with Justices Renatha Francis, Jamie Grosshans, and Meredith Sasso dissenting.

“In the end, the ballot title and summary fairly inform voters, in clear and unambiguous language, of the chief purpose of the amendment and they are not misleading,” read the majority opinion.

Francis and Sasso will both face merit retention on the statewide ballot this November. Florida Supreme Court Justices go before voters every six years, with a yes or no vote on whether to retain the Justice on the Supreme Court. Voters have never refused to retain a Supreme Court Justice.

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