Florida supreme court allows six-week abortion ban but says voters will decide issue in November

Abortion rights will be on the ballot in Florida this November, the state’s Supreme Court said in a highly anticipated ruling on Monday.

Just hours before the 1 April deadline, the panel of seven justices – all appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis – said that a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion should be put to voters this November.

At the same time, however, the judges overturned more than three decades of precedent to uphold the ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which was signed into law by governor Ron DeSantis in 2022.

That will mean a more restrictive law signed last year, which bans nearly all abortions after six weeks, will now go into effect – until and unless voters choose to overturn it.

The proposed Amendment 4 would protect Floridians’ right to an abortion up until the point of viability – or the point at which a fetus could survive outside of the womb, largely considered to be around 24 weeks.

The amendment received around 1 million signatures from Florida voters, which was enough to put both on the 2024 ballot, but Republican attorney general Ashley Moody challenged it by claiming that its language was deceptive.

In addition to the abortion vote, Florida voters will also cast their ballot against or for removing criminal and civil penalties for those 21 years or older who use marijuana.

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