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Limit Government Interference with Abortion

November 15, 2023

Floridians Protecting Freedom: media@rei-myersACLU of Florida Media Office: [email protected] 

Prominent Former Republican Elected Officials Support Abortion Amendment Going on Ballot

TALLAHASSEE – A group of prominent Florida former Republican elected officials have signed on to a newly filed brief with the Florida Supreme Court in support of placing the Floridians Protecting Freedom (FPF) “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion” on the 2024 General Election ballot. It follows a series of support briefs submitted by Florida doctors, constitutional law scholars, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The latest filing pushes back against the tortured legal logic Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and anti-abortion extremists have used in attempting to stop voters from having their say on this important issue. “The power of the people to decide for themselves what their fundamental law should be is so valued in Florida that courts exercise extreme restraint before blocking citizen initiatives from reaching Floridians,” reads a portion of the brief.

“Rather than respect the power of the voters to decide this state’s fundamental law, the Attorney General seeks to impose a far higher bar on the Initiative…the AG’s proposal would interfere ‘with the right of self-determination for all Florida citizens’ and their sovereignty,” the brief states. Among the signers are former GOP Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, and former State Senators Paula Dockery and Dennis L. Jones.

“This latest filing is further proof that Floridians, across the political spectrum, believe that the people of Florida should be the ones deciding this issue, not politicians,” said Lauren Brenzel, campaign director for FPF. “Mainstream Floridians do not want extreme abortion bans. Our initiative will ensure that the decision to have an abortion belongs to Floridians, their families, and those they trust – not politicians.”

The filing concludes, “Because the amendment comprises just one subject—abortion—and its ballot summary is not misleading, this Court should not strike the Initiative from the ballot. Whether one supports abortion is irrelevant, the constitutionally protected citizens’ initiative process should move forward and the initiative should reach the people, as the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs suggested, so that the people themselves can decide the issue. This is the power reserved to the people by the Florida Constitution, and it should not be thwarted here.” The filing contended that the Court should not “prevent Floridians from having their individual voices heard on this weighty moral and medical issue. The people should decide, as the Florida Constitution provided.”

The complete list of former Republican elected officials  who signed the  brief is as follows:

  • Jennifer Carroll, Former Lieutenant Governor of Florida, Former Florida State Representative
  • Paula Dockery, Former Florida State Senator, Former Florida State Representative
  • Dennis L. Jones, Former Florida State Senator, Former Florida State Representative, Former Speaker Pro Tempore of Florida
  • Raymond Pilon, Former Florida State Representative, Former County Commissioner, Sarasota County
  • Juan-Carlos Planas, Former Florida State Representative
  • Elizabeth Benac, Former County Commissioner, Manatee County
  • Misty Servia, Former County Commissioner, Manatee County
  • Carolyn Whitmore, Former County Commissioner, Manatee County, Former Mayor, Holmes Beach, Former City Commissioner, Holmes Beach
  • Alice Burch, Former Mayor, Miami Shores, Former Council Member, Miami Shores Village
  • Mayra Lindsay, Former Mayor, Village of Key Biscayne

“Floridians are ready to reclaim their freedom from government interference when it comes to accessing essential reproductive health care, and we look forward to giving them a chance to do so at the ballot box in 2024,” added Brenzel.