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Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops urges Floridians to vote against pro-abortion amendment

by | Apr 10, 2024

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Floridians to vote against a pro-abortion proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the November ballot.

The Florida Supreme Court decided on April 1 to allow voters to decide whether the state’s constitution should guarantee a right to abortion up to around 24 weeks’ gestation, as CatholicVote previously reported. The proposed amendment needs to receive 60% or more of the vote in November to pass.

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops filed a brief in the state’s Supreme Court in October 2023 opposing the pro-abortion initiative and pointing out the amendment’s misleading language and failure to provide voters with a full understanding of the weight of the decision.

According to the Conference, the title, “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion,” advises the voter that the amendment blocks all government regulation before the pre-born child is viable. Based on that title and the summary, “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.” Voters might vote in favor of the proposed amendment without realizing it would prohibit state oversight of abortion providers and clinics that only conduct abortions before viability. The Conference also argued that the ballot language does not disclose that the amendment would invalidate existing state laws that limit abortion.

Michael B. Sheedy, executive director of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in the April 1 statement that the Conference is “greatly dismayed” that the court did not reject the amendment.

“Under the guise of limiting government interference, this extreme ballot initiative would legalize full-term abortion, including when the baby is capable of feeling pain,” Sheedy remarked. “If passed, the amendment to our state constitution would put the most innocent of human lives in grave danger until the moment of birth and would eliminate gains made over the past several decades to protect women from the harms of abortion, including health and safety protocols at abortion facilities.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at the Catholic Vote.

Categories: State