Abortion initiative Floridians Protecting Freedom tops 400,000 signatures

Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring abortion rights have topped 400,000 valid petition signatures submitted to the state. 

The Florida Division of Elections website on Thursday showed 402,082 valid signatures for the proposal, which the political committee Floridians Protecting Freedom is trying to put on the November 2024 ballot. 

The total reflects signatures that have been validated, not necessarily the overall number of signatures collected. Floridians Protecting Freedom would need to submit at least 891,523 valid petition signatures to get on the 2024 ballot. 

Also, it would need the Florida Supreme Court to approve the proposed ballot wording. The committee has submitted enough signatures to trigger a Supreme Court review, though it remains unclear when that review will take place. 

Floridians for Protecting Freedom announced the ballot initiative in May after the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a bill that seeks to prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The proposed amendment would bar laws that restrict abortion "before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider."