Florida Abortion Advocacy Group Seeks to Amend State Constitution to Codify What Opponents Say is Unrestricted Abortion

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. This amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.

An abortion advocacy group called Floridians Protecting Freedom has sponsored a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would allow women access to unrestricted abortions, opponents say.

Liberty Counsel submitted a brief to the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of Florida Voters Against Extremism, which opposes the proposed amendment. Liberty Counsel said the initiative “hides from voters that the sponsors’ true purpose is to codify unrestricted abortion in Florida’s Constitution and allow abortions for virtually any reason, at any stage of the pregnancy.”

The group is asking the state’s highest court to strike down the initiative.

The proposed amendment’s title and summary are misleading, Liberty Counsel added. The measure “would prevent the State from regulating all pre-viability abortions and all abortions that a vague and undefined ‘healthcare provider’ may deem ‘necessary’ to protect the woman’s ‘health.'”

In addition to these problems with the initiative, Liberty Counsel said that it violates the state constitution’s “single-subject requirement by addressing multiple subjects, including pre-viability abortions and protection of women’s health, in the same proposal. Those are distinct issues that cannot permissibly be put into a single ballot initiative.”

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said the proposed amendment also would “impermissibly conflict with the federal ban on the brutal Partial Birth Abortion procedure.”

Pro-lifers knew that abortion advocates would fight to keep abortions as unrestricted as possible after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to kill unborn babies.

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