November Ballots to Include Decision on Proposed Abortion Constitutional Amendment

by Janet Pattison
Photo by Garrett Jackson on Unsplash Photo by Garrett Jackson on Unsplash

TALLAHASEE, FL - On April 1, 2024, the Florida Supreme Court made a pivotal decision regarding abortion legislation in the state. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a proposed state constitutional amendment, aiming to limit government intervention in abortion procedures, qualifies to be on the ballots this November. Concurrently, the court upheld Florida's existing 15-week abortion ban. "Based on our analysis finding no clear right to abortion embodied within the Privacy Clause, Planned Parenthood cannot overcome the presumption of constitutionality and is unable to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the 15-week ban is unconstitutional," the state high court ruled.

This ruling has sparked varied reactions and ignited debates across the state. Read Supreme Court Opinion here:

The Florida League of Women Voters, advocating for women's rights and healthcare, stands in support of the constitutional amendment. According to their website, they argue that abortion is fundamentally a healthcare issue and believe that individuals should have the autonomy to make decisions about their bodies.

Another group, Floridians Protecting Freedom, is a citizen-led ballot initiative campaign, urges citizens to Vote Yes on the amendment. They argue abortion is a personal healthcare decision between a person and their doctor .

In contrast, Evan Powers, Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, issued a statement expressing the party's stance. “We are very disappointed that a deceptively worded pro-abortion amendment is allowed to appear on Florida’s ballot in November. If passed, it will allow abortions up to 6 months of pregnancy and, thanks a loophole, event to the point of birth. Florida will become the most pro-abortion state in the southern US. That is NOT what Florida wants and the Republican Party of Florida will fight to inform voters on the dangers of this amendment.”

Adding to the discourse, Tony Perkins of the Family Resource Council emphasized the significance of standing for life at every turn. Perkins expressed concerns about the implications of unlimited access to abortion, referring to it as "abortion till birth paid for by taxpayers." He asserted that such practices do not align with the values of promoting and preserving life.

Women in Panama City that are facing an unplanned pregnancy can find help at the Pregnancy Resource Center. The Pregnancy Resource Center in Bay County has been a steadfast support for women facing crisis pregnancies since its inception in 1983. Founded by a group of dedicated women in collaboration with the Christian Action Council (now CareNet), the center has continuously served the community with education, encouragement, and support. Despite changes in location, including displacement due to Hurricane Michael, the center remains committed to its mission. Currently situated at 701 Jenks Ave, Panama City, Florida, under the leadership of Executive Director Pati Adams, the center continues to provide vital services to those in need, ensuring that no one faces a crisis pregnancy alone.

The upcoming November elections promise to be pivotal, with the proposed constitutional amendment poised to be a focal point of public discourse and voter engagement.