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(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Florida abortion rights advocates on Friday said they surpassed the required number of signatures needed to put a referendum that would enshrine abortion rights in Florida’s Constitution on the state’s 2024 ballot in November.

If the referendum, which needed 891,523 total verified signatures to be placed on the ballot, prevails in November, it will undo Florida’s abortion ban and deliver a devastating blow to Florida Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has restricted access to abortion in the state.

“I’m confident that something that’s very, very extreme is not gonna be able to pass in Florida,” he said in Cumming, Iowa, on Friday after it was announced that the measure received the requisite number of signatures.

Currently, Florida has a 15-week abortion ban that a six-week abortion ban, caught up in litigation, could replace if the state’s supreme court rules it constitutional.

Abortion advocates and Democrats are celebrating the development.

“It’s official — nearly 1 million Florida voters have stepped in to protect reproductive rights and access to life-saving health care,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried.

Anna Hochkammer, director of the group Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition, told ABC News in a statement on Friday that there was “a grassroots avalanche of support for abortion access across the state.”

“Floridians across the political spectrum want women and girls to have access to modern, safe, dignified healthcare, and when abortion is on the ballot in 2024 in Florida, it will win,” Hochkammer added.

Hochkammer said that her group believes the government should “stay out of personal, complicated health issues.”

But the amendment — which would need 60% of the vote to pass — still faces serious headwinds to get on the general election ballot.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is challenging the initiative in the Florida Supreme Court – asserting the initiative is misleading.

Florida Voters Against Extremism, another group affiliated with Florida Family Policy Council, has filed an amicus brief with the high court in Florida, urging them to reject the ballot amendment. And national anti-abortion organization Susan B Anthony List has also filed a brief with the court.

And groups opposed to abortion access are organizing against the amendment.

John Stemberger, the president of Florida Family Policy Council, opposes the amendment and told ABC News that the next big hurdle for the pro-amendment side is going to be the Florida Supreme Court, which will hear arguments about the amendment on Feb. 7.

In the meantime, Stemberger says his organization is hiring a staffer and has a consultant already working with the group to fight the amendment.

“We’re ready to run a full-blown campaign,” he said.

Florida’s effort follows a similar campaign by advocacy groups in Ohio to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution. That measure was adopted by a simple majority in November 2023.


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