‘Abortion on Demand’: Florida AG strengthens arguments against proposed 2024 ballot measure

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody doubled down on her arguments against a proposed abortion law change currently being considered by the state Supreme Court.

In her effort to keep the amendment off the 2024 ballot, Moody filed a response with the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday reiterating her concerns about certain aspects of the initiative’s voting summary. The measure must go through the judicial review process before Floridians can vote.

The ballot measure’s summary reads, in part: “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict an abortion before it is viable or when necessary to protect the health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s health care provider.”

Moody claims the summary is misleading and said the measure’s proponents hope the change “would bring about the near equivalent of on-demand abortion in the state of Florida.” She claimed that the summary stated: “[n]“The law is intended to prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortions” is misleading because it makes no mention of a federal law that “limits the performance of partial-birth abortions to life-threatening circumstances.”

“An additional word… would have served the purpose: ‘No state law shall…'” Moody wrote in the letter. “This single word would also have addressed the possibility that Congress would enact additional preventive legislation restricting the practice of abortion in the future.”

Moody also took issue with what she called the amendment’s “key operational terms”: “viability,” “health” and “health care providers.” She said the voting summary “does not limit the wide range of meanings that might be associated with these terms.”

The attorney general claimed that the use of the term “health care provider” would “produce a dramatic shift in legislative power – from the government to” doctors, whom she described as “the private commercial interest that stands to benefit from the very practice whose legitimacy that interest is.” has.” can decide.”

Floridians Protecting Freedom is the lead sponsor of “Amendment to limit government intervention in abortion“, which had almost half a million verified signatures as of Thursday. A total of 891,523 are needed to appear on the ballot.

As of this report, Floridians Protecting Freedom has not responded to Moody’s response letter.

In Monday’s filing, the measure’s supporters criticized Moody’s arguments as politically motivated and said Florida voters understand the “common sense” definition of terms like “viability.”

“For nearly fifty years—until last year—government interference in abortions limited its viability,” attorneys representing Floridians Protecting Freedom wrote in a letter. “Voters can be trusted to know what it would mean to live in a world in which government intervention in abortion is restricted before it is viable.”

Proponents of the measure also believe that those who oppose it are making political arguments and not based on a purely legal basis. Four supporting briefs from Florida doctors, former Florida Republican elected officials, constitutional lawyers and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were also submitted to the Florida Supreme Court on Monday.

In an October 6 editorial, published shortly before Moody filed her first brief, she described herself as “unabashedly” pro-life. She has requested a hearing in the case, according to court documents filed Monday.

Luke Plunkett

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