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Abortion rights activists are nearing the signature requirement for a Florida ballot measure

 A young woman flashes a peace sign as she stands behind a table covered with pens and petitions on clipboards. A yellow sign in front reads, 'Support Women's Rights, Stop Abortion Ban.'
Cathy Carter
/
WUSF Public Media
To get the proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2024 ballot, Floridians Protecting Freedom will need to submit at least 891,523 valid petition signatures to the state by Feb. 1.

Activists need fewer than 30,000 signatures by Feb. 1 to meet a requirement to place the measure on the 2024 ballot.

With a deadline a little more than a month away, supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring abortion rights continue getting closer to meeting a petition-signature requirement.

The Florida Division of Elections website Friday showed 863,876 valid petition signatures for the proposal, up from 833,743 a week earlier and 753,306 two weeks earlier.

The political committee Floridians Protecting Freedom, which is sponsoring the measure, 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 put the proposal on the November 2024 ballot.

The committee faces a Feb. 1 deadline for meeting the requirements. It also needs the Florida Supreme Court to sign off on the proposed ballot wording.

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.

Attorney General Ashley Moody has argued the Supreme Court should keep the proposed constitutional amendment off the ballot, saying its wording would mislead voters — a contention that amendment supporters 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.”