May 9, 2023 - Politics

Florida coalition pushes for abortion to be on 2024 ballot

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Floridians Protecting Freedom, a new coalition of abortion rights supporters, launched a campaign Monday to place a constitutional amendment protecting abortion access on next year's ballot.

Why it matters: The initiative to allow abortion until viability, around 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, comes a month after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban into law.

  • If the effort is successful, it could have massive implications for reproductive health care in the South, where nearby states have bans that have forced abortion clinics to close.

Zoom out: California, Michigan and Vermont backed ballot measures in last year's midterm election that effectively make it impossible for state lawmakers to prohibit abortion.

  • Polls, since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, have consistently shown that most Americans believe abortion should be legal.
  • Meanwhile, a recent University of North Florida poll found that over 61% of Floridians are opposed to strict restrictions on abortion.

What they're saying: "Floridians deserve the freedom to control their lives, their bodies, their health care, and their futures," Kara Gross, legislative director at the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement.

  • "We are putting abortion on the ballot, and we are giving the voice back to the people of Florida that for so long has been silenced," said Sarah Parker, president of Women's Voices of Southwest Florida.

What's ahead: Abortion rights supporters must secure more than 800,000 signatures by Feb. 1 to get the amendment on the 2024 ballot. It would then need support from 60% of voters to succeed.


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