Florida State Senator Jason Pizzo (D-Miami) floated the idea of protected abortion access by way of Florida’s constitutional amendment process. His tweet comes in the wake of the overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade case last month by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling.
The ruling from SCOTUS did not institute a federal ban, but allowed individual states to determine their own stance on abortion access.
“If women’s reproductive rights are now left up to the states, then it should be left up to the PEOPLE of those states, not the legislature,” Pizzo tweeted this week. “Let’s put it on the ballot.”
If women’s reproductive rights are now left up to the states, then it should be left up to the PEOPLE of those states, not the legislature. Let’s put it on the ballot.
— Florida State Senator Jason Pizzo (@senpizzo) July 7, 2022
So far, the tweet has garnered tens of thousands of likes and thousands of retweets. However, there has been no official filing of any legislation in response.
According to the Constitution of the State of Florida, the constitution itself can be amended two primary ways. The first is through a citizens’ ballot initiative, which is the most common each general election cycle. The other is through the Florida Legislature, which would then end up on the general election ballot.
The Florida constitution is the most-amended state constitution in the country, with over 250 amendments attached to it.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has made numerous promises to expand pro-life policies and restrict abortion. Most recently, DeSantis said he would take up more pro-life legislation especially because of the overturning of Roe.
On Twitter, DeSantis posted that “the prayers of millions have been answered” because of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling. He continued to say that “Florida will continue to defend its recently-enacted pro-life reforms against state court challenges, will work to expand pro-life protections, and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care and child welfare.”
By properly interpreting the Constitution, the Supreme Court has answered the prayers of millions upon millions of Americans. pic.twitter.com/CsPFpNnUPk
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 24, 2022
Pizzo pointed out in continued comments that many of the “anti-abortion zealots” in Tallahassee were more tempered than they portrayed themselves.
“There are some pretty strong anti-abortion zealots in Tallahassee, but if you were one-on-one intimately asking members of either side, ‘Do you really believe a 10-year-old girl who gets raped is supposed to go full term with a pregnancy?’ their honest answer is quite different from the button that they might push if they’re told that their political futures are on the line,” Pizzo said.
As a result of the abortion issue being returned to the states, there will likely be a litany of abortion-related amendments from both sides of the issue depending on how the courts rule in Florida’s 15-week abortion ban.
“You’re going to see proposed constitutional amendments in either direction, depending on which way the court interprets that right to privacy,” said Kevin Wagner, a professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Jason Pizzo” by Senator Jason Pizzo. Background Photo “Embryo Week 9-10” by lunar caustic. CC BY 2.0.