Florida’s Supreme Court Wrestles With Abortion-Related Amendment

(NationalUSNews.com) — On Monday, April 1, the Florida state supreme court supported the 15-week abortion ban, which will clear the way for the implementation of a 6-week abortion ban that is slated to go into effect on May 1. The 6-week ban had previously been delayed by a petition to enact a citizens’ initiative. The initiative would add an amendment to Florida’s constitution enshrining the right to abortion based on a physician’s opinion on viability and maternal safety rather than on a specific time frame.

Many Florida lawmakers have concerns over the wording in the amendment, suggesting that it is too vague and could be open to more broad interpretation in the future. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody suggested that the wording is so ambiguous in general that it is a “ticking time bomb” that would allow more strenuous abortion proponents to expand its meaning in a way that current voters would not support if they understood.

Democratic state Representative Anna Eskamani argues that the wording is very clear, as “viable” is a clear medical term referring to the ability of a baby to survive outside the womb using standard medical measures. The maternal safety clause may be more of an issue because, while many people do support late-term abortions in cases of extreme danger to the patients, they worry such exceptions might be stretched too far. Such people would be disturbed that many pro-abortion clinicians have used the loopholes provided by such wording to make exceptions for late-term abortions based on such nebulous claims as being anxious or depressed rather than being at serious medical risk.

The exact wording of the amendment will need to be agreed upon before it can be added to a ballot for the public to vote on. Courtney Brewer, a legal writing professor at Florida State University, says that it clearly meets the criteria, and she believes that it can be put to the vote immediately. If it is added to the ballot and voted upon, it would need to pass by a 60% approval margin to be put into effect.

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