Faith group defies typical abortion battle lines, hopes to pass FL ballot measure protecting it

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Florida lawmakers made many faith-based arguments when passing abortion restrictions over the past two years.

On Tuesday, a group flipped the script on typical abortion battle lines, coming out with a faith-based argument in favor of protecting abortion rights and hoping to get a measure protecting it on the ballot and passed by Florida voters.

They met at Royal Palm Christian Church in Coral Springs to invite a call for action.

“Our main focus is collecting as many petitions as possible,” Sabrina Javellana, with the Reproductive Freedom Coalition, said.

The petition effort to get the question to voters in November 2024 met a milestone: enough signatures to submit to Florida’s Supreme Court a review of the actual ballot language voters will see.

“We want to make sure that individuals understand what’s at stake in 2024,” Coral Springs City Commissioner Nancy Metayer Brown said. “And that is having full autonomy.”

Florida’s conservative lawmakers and governor passed a 15-week limit on terminations first, which is now in the hands of the state’s Supreme Court. They then passed a six-week limit, which will become law if those justices rule it constitutional.

The director of Miami’s Roman Catholic archdiocese’s “Respect Life” campaign headlines the faith-based argument that fueled Florida’s restrictions.

“God creates everything and he creates human life,” Angela Curatalo said. “We don’t kill humans, that’s against the law, so why is it any different for a human in the womb?”

The petition initiative is about halfway to the half-million signatures needed to give voters the say. Meanwhile, Florida’s conservative Supreme court is deciding whether current restrictions are constitutional.

“How they can tell me what I can do with my body, and use their religion to trump my own religion or to trump my rights?” State Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, said.

The proposed constitutional amendment Florida voters may decide on would limit government interference with abortion. The same judges deciding the abortion case now will also decide whether the ballot language passes muster.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."