Florida – The Supreme Court of Florida today allowed a ballot measure that would amend Florida’s Constitution to expand abortion access to proceed to the ballot in November.

The decision comes as a blow to Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody, who had asked the state Supreme Court to keep the proposed abortion rights amendment off the ballot, misrepresenting information issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to support her own ideological agenda. On behalf of ACOG, Democracy Forward and the law firm Swope, Rodante P.A. filed a brief in the Supreme Court of Florida to address the Attorney General’s argument that the ballot summary of the Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion is misleading. 

“Today’s ruling on the abortion ballot measure defeated AG Moody’s attempt to misuse a resource from medical experts to prevent voters from letting their voices be heard on abortion. As we have seen in places like Ohio and Kansas, there is broad support for abortion and reproductive health care access. In Florida, voters, too, will soon have a chance to choose whether they support reproductive freedom at the ballot box,” said Democracy Forward President and CEO Skye Perryman. “In our democracy, knowledge is power. Yet, across the country – from Florida to Ohio – there has been a movement by far-right extremists working to warp the truth and to manipulate the will of voters by either changing ballot language or trying to keep measures off the ballot entirely. We are pleased to see this anti-democratic effort to keep the abortion question off the ballot fail in Florida.” 

The ACOG information the Attorney General sought to manipulate was issued following the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and reflects the medical community’s long-standing conclusion, backed by decades of research, that political interference into the practice of medicine is harmful to people and communities. 

Though the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling to allow the ballot measure to proceed comes as welcome news to reproductive rights advocates in the state, the Court also issued a separate opinion affirming the 15-week ban the Florida Legislature approved, which will result in the state’s six-week abortion ban taking effect in 30 days by operation of that law. 

“Things in Florida are going to get worse before they have a chance to get better,” added Perryman. “While anti-abortion extremists seek to restrict reproductive rights and further limit freedoms for women in the state, voters will have the ultimate decision about abortion in Florida.” 

For more information about Democracy Forward, please visit www.democracyforward.org

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