November 11, 2011 — After the defeat of the so-called "personhood" ballot measure in Mississippi, the movement's supporters in Florida revised their proposal for a state constitutional amendment defining life as beginning at fertilization, the AP/Miami Herald reports. Supporters of the Florida amendment aim to place it on the 2014 ballot.
The Florida amendment, like the Mississippi measure, would outlaw abortion by changing the definition of the word "person." The revised version is called the "Florida ProLife Personhood" amendment and states that the word "person" should apply to "unborn children at every stage of their biological development regardless of the method of creation." The previous proposal said the words "person" and "natural person" should apply to all humans regardless of "method of reproduction, from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."
The Rev. Bryan Longworth, director of Personhood Florida, said the Family Research Council suggested the changes. He said that the new language is more defensible in court and more marketable to voters.
Supporters of the amendment need to collect 676,811 signatures to place it on the 2014 ballot. At least 60% of voters would need to vote for the amendment for it to become law (Kaczor, AP/Miami Herald, 11/9).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.