The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have organized a heavily funded stealth group called “Floridians Protecting Freedom.” They are circulating a petition entitled “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion.” The ballot summary of the petition 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 amendment is very extreme and deceptive. It would enshrine abortion as a fundamental right in Florida’s constitution and allow abortions for virtually any reason up to nine months of pregnancy.
The amendment is also dangerous because it would legally trump and invalidate almost every commonsense law in Florida regulating abortion, including parental consent, clinic safety regulations, and the 24-hour waiting period.
The amendment language is highly deceptive and not what it seems to be. It appears to allow lawmakers to restrict or stop late-term abortions after viability. But it also allows for abortion on demand for any “health” reason at the absolute discretion of any health provider. This term could be an acupuncturist, nurse, pharmacist, or physical therapist.
The word “health” is extremely broad in the context of abortion case law. It can include any condition, including headaches, nausea, cramping, anxiety, and discomfort, and can include “emotional, psychological, familial” factors.
The use of the term “viability” is also problematic because this concept is a moving target based on technology, and no clear definition of viability exists.