A proposed amendment aiming to incorporate access to abortion in Florida’s constitution has made significant progress towards inclusion on the November 2024 ballot. Abortion advocates, led by the group Floridians Protecting Freedom, amassed over 910,000 validated signatures of registered voters, surpassing the required 892,000 necessary to advance the measure.
The proposed amendment seeks to outlaw restrictions on abortion before fetal viability, estimated at the 24th week of pregnancy, with exceptions after this period for the patient’s health based on their healthcare provider’s judgment.
Opponents may be able to stop the controversial amendment from advancing, however. The Florida Supreme Court announced on Wednesday its intention to hear a challenge against the initiative by state conservatives. Five of the seven justices were appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a staunch abortion opponent. Oral arguments for this case are scheduled to be held on February 7.
Florida abortion advocates will have additional hurdles to overcome, even if their measure eventually makes the ballot. The measure would need the support of 60 percent of voters in November — not a simple majority — to pass. Abortion is currently legal in Florida up to 15 weeks.
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