TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Attorney General Ashley Moody will argue against a proposed abortion rights amendment before the Florida Supreme Court and ask justices to block it from appearing on the 2024 ballot.
On Monday, Moody filed to request the court’s advisory opinion on the measure, titled Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion. The initiative’s summary states, in part, “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.”
Floridians Protecting Freedom, its sponsor, announced last month that the measure reached 25% of the signatures required to appear on the ballot, which triggered the judicial review process. The court will weigh in on whether the initiative covers a single subject and is written in “clear and unambiguous language.”
Moody recently penned an op-ed for Florida’s Voice where she described herself as “unabashedly” pro-life and called the initiative “misleading,” stating it was “one of the worst I have seen.” She took issue with the measure’s use of the word “viability” and claimed it will confuse voters.
In court documents filed Monday, Moody said she would file briefs arguing against the measure.
“For reasons that will be set forth in the brief to be filed with the Court at the appropriate time, I submit that the aforementioned initiative does not satisfy the legal requirements for ballot placement,” Moody wrote in her submission to the Florida Supreme Court.
Floridians Protecting Freedom decried Moody’s statement as an “attempt to silence voters.”
“This is a disingenuous argument by a politician desperate to block Floridians from voting on this amendment,” Campaign Director Lauren Brenzel said in a statement. “Voters know what viability means and they will see right through this effort to silence their voice.”
The ballot measure faces a massive hurdle with Florida’s overwhelmingly conservative supreme court. Pro-choice advocates fear the court will be favorable towards anti-abortion arguments, in part, due to Gov. Ron DeSantis appointing five of the seven justices, including those with strong ties to the pro-life movement and legislative advocacy.
Abortion will be fresh on the minds of Florida’s Supreme Court justices, who recently heard oral arguments in a case challenging Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida v. Florida is blocking a more restrictive abortion law from being implemented while it is tied up in the courts.
Another potential 2024 ballot measure, Adult Personal Use of Marijuana, has over 1,000,000 valid signatures, but is still in the judicial review process. Attorney General Ashley Moody submitted the initiative to the Florida Supreme Court in May. Justices are expected to hear oral arguments next month.