Deceptive abortion initiative violates Florida law, says pro-life legal group

(Freedom Advisor) Liberty Counsel filed a short answer on behalf of Florida Voters Against Extremism (FLVAE) urging the Florida Supreme Court to disapprove the wording of a proposed amendment that would codify unrestricted abortion as a right in the state Constitution. In a brief response, Liberty Counsel said the initiative is misleading and deceptive and violates the single subject rule. In short, Liberty Counsel said the sponsor is completely avoiding these legal issues and has failed to provide a meaningful disclaimer.

The proposed amendment, “Amendment to Limit Government Interference in Abortion,” would create a new section in the Florida Constitution that “limits government interference in abortion.” The full text of the accompanying ballot summary states: “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion prior to life or when necessary to protect the health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s health care provider . This amendment does not change the constitutional authority of the Legislature to require notification of a parent or guardian before a minor obtains an abortion.”

However, this initiative has serious shortcomings and falls short of the requirements under Florida law to be placed on the ballot for voters.

The proposed amendment misleads voters and hides the true intent behind the amendment and its effect, which is to protect the right to abortion in Florida for any reason, at any stage of pregnancy. The effect of the proposed amendment would be to prevent the State of Florida from regulating all abortions that a vague and undefined “health care provider” might deem “necessary” to protect the “health” of the woman. The amendment leaves the terms “necessary” or “health” deliberately undefined and vague, hiding that the real purpose is to confuse Florida voters and create an unrestricted abortion right in all stages of pregnancy until birth. For example, if enacted, the proposed amendment would authorize, as a matter of state law, activities that would constitute violations of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. This conflict with federal law alone disqualifies the proposed amendment.


The proposed amendment also violates the single-subject provision of the Florida Constitution by addressing multiple topics, including pre-viability abortions and protection of women’s health, in the same measure. Those are unique issues that are not allowed to be placed on a ballot initiative.

In addition, the amendment would significantly change the role of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of Florida government. Currently, the legislative branch is authorized to “ban” abortion by law; the executive branch is authorized to “punish” citizens who violate abortion laws; and the judicial branch is authorized to “delay” or “restrict” any illegal or unconstitutional conduct. Lumping functional alterations to each branch of government in one amendment also violates the single-subject requirement.

The proposed amendment is sponsored by Floridians Protecting Freedom, Inc., a political committee supported by the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other groups that support ending preborn people through unrestricted abortion on demand. Even the name, Floridians Protecting Freedom, is misleading when their goal is to “protect Floridians’ access to abortion as reproductive health care.”

Liberty Counsel Founder and President Mat Staver said, “The Florida Supreme Court should not approve the language of this deceptive and deliberately confusing amendment. If passed, this abortion amendment would allow abortion for any reason at any time up until birth. This amendment is also not allowed to conflict with the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. These sponsors want to trick voters into changing the Florida Constitution to kill babies for any reason, even at birth. This fraudulent change must be rejected.”

Editor’s Note: This press release was published on Freedom Advisor.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button