State Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book (D-FL) blasted Republicans for not wanting to put abortion on the ballot in the Sunshine State in November.
The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) petitioned the state’s highest court to take a look at the abortion coalition’s proposed amendment.
The amendment reads as follows:
“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. This amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.”
The state Supreme Court’s decision is expected to be delivered in April, according to the Washington Post.
Leader Book released a statement just an hour after the proceedings began.
— Lauren Book (@LeaderBookFL) February 7, 2024
"Today we witnessed anti-choice leaders launch their final, desperate attempt to keep abortion off the ballot this November,” said Leader Book. “Instead of allowing abortion rights to play out democratically, the Attorney General and anti-choice extremists do not want Florida voters to have a say on Amendment 4 – not because the amendment language is unclear, but because the overwhelming majority of voters, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, support abortion rights.”
The main argument against the amendment from a legal perspective is that the term “viability” is too vague and could differ by up to a month. For instance, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states clinicians consider viability to be between 20-25 weeks. It’s a large window that is not defined in the amendment.
She continued by defending the verbiage, however, stating that it is “clear and precise.”
“We know the language used in Amendment 4 is clear and precise in limiting government interference with abortion before viability,” said Book. “I believe the Florida Supreme Court will do what is right, clearing the way for Florida voters to defend reproductive freedom and abortion rights by passing Amendment 4 this November.”
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has tilted the court in Republicans’ favor as he’s appointed five justices of the seven on the bench.