Advocates have 620,000 signatures in their bid to add a ballot question on abortion protections to Florida’s ballot

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Women's March
Sign at Women's March in St. Petersburg, Florida. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ensure abortion rights in Florida have totaled more than 621,000 valid petition signatures as they try to meet a Feb. 1 deadline to get on the 2024 ballot.

The Florida Division of Elections website Friday morning showed 621,690 valid petition signatures for the measure, which is sponsored by the political committee Floridians Protecting Freedom.

The committee by Feb. 1 will need to submit at least 891,523 valid signatures statewide and meet signature requirements in at least half of the state’s congressional districts to get on the November ballot.

The committee also needs the Florida Supreme Court to sign off on the proposed ballot wording.

Attorney General Ashley Moody has challenged the proposed wording, contending that it would mislead voters — an argument that supporters of the measure dispute.

The ballot summary of the proposal says, 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 announced the initiative in May after the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a law that could prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The six-week limit is contingent on the outcome of a legal battle about a 15-week abortion limit that DeSantis and lawmakers passed in 2022.

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