By Dave Andrusko
In a filing on Monday Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told the state Supreme Court that a proposed constitutional amendment currently gathering signatures to be put on the ballot on 2024 “does not satisfy the legal requirements for ballot placement.” Moody said that her legal objections “will be set forth in the brief to be filed with the court at the appropriate time.”
The Florida Supreme Court “plays a key gatekeeper role, as it reviews proposed ballot initiatives to determine if the wording is clear and is limited to single subjects,” according to CBS News. It can reject initiatives that don’t meet legal standards.”
While Moody did not explain the basis of her objections, “in an opinion piece posted Friday on the Florida’s Voice website, Moody wrote that her opposition to the issue going on the ballot ‘has nothing to do with my personal views on abortion,’” CBS News reported. “Instead, as I have done throughout my two terms, I have objected to initiatives when the language of the summary will mislead voters.”
In her opinion piece Moody wrote, “As just one example of how misleading this initiative is, the initiative creates a right to abortion through ‘viability.’” She continued
As any mother knows, “viability” has two meanings when it comes to pregnancy.
First, it means whether a pregnancy is expected to continue developing normally through delivery. Doctors can tell during the first trimester, usually around about 12 weeks, whether a pregnancy is viable and would have a much lower risk of miscarriage. For that reason, many women often wait to tell family and friends about their pregnancy until that time.
Second, viability is sometimes used to mean whether a baby can survive outside of the uterus, which currently is around 21 to 25 weeks of pregnancy. The two time periods, depending on your definition of viability, are starkly different, and the procedures performed to abort a baby’s life at either time period are dissimilar.
Moody notes that “Even the pro-choice-aligned American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes the two medical definitions and urges that “[t]he concept of viability of [an unborn baby] is frequently misrepresented or misinterpreted based on ideological principles. This perpetuates incorrect and unscientific understandings of medical terms….”
This was no accident, Moody argued. “It was done to increase the chance that this provision will pass as polling shows that more Americans support abortion in the first trimester with that support significantly decreasing as pregnancy progresses.”
Moody added, “The sponsor has gone so far attempting to deceive Floridians as to not post any information on its website on what it means by viability and when the right to abortion, which it is attempting to enshrine in our Constitution, ends.”
Notice that that the ballot summary of the amendment, which would be presented to voters, states that “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” [emphasis added]
This is the escape clause lifted from Doe v. Bolton, Roe v. Wade’s companion decision. All that is required for an abortion up until birth is for the “healthcare provider”—the abortionist—to determined that it is “necessary to protect the patient’s health.” As 49 years under the dominion of Roe/Doe proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, anything and everything qualified for the “health’ exemption.
As of Monday, Floridians Protecting Freedom had submitted 222,881 valid petition signatures to the state. To get on the ballot, the committee must submit at least 891,523 valid signatures by the deadline of February 1.