Florida abortion rights campaign for Amendment 4 kicks off The campaign to amend Florida's constitution to protect abortion rights kicked off in Orlando, attracting voters on both sides of the issue. The ballot question needs 60% approval to pass.

Florida voters will decide on abortion rights this fall. Here's what some are saying

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In November, Florida voters will decide whether to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitution through a new amendment. The campaign for the amendment launched this weekend in Orlando. Danielle Prieur of Central Florida Public Media was there.

DANIELLE PRIEUR, BYLINE: The Florida Supreme Court released two decisions earlier this month that could change the course of Florida history. First, they allowed a six-week abortion ban to take effect May 1 by upholding a 15-week ban. And second, they allowed Amendment 4 to appear on the ballot in November, which would protect abortion up to 24 weeks. Voters on both sides of the issue already have a lot to say about the amendment.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Yes on 4. Yes on 4.

PRIEUR: The Yes on 4 campaign says about 1,500 people came out to support the amendment at the rally in Orlando.

GAIL QUINN: So I'm here for my daughter. But I'm also here for every single woman that is having their rights taken away from them.

PRIEUR: That's Gail Quinn, carrying a sign that said, we're not ovary-acting. That's O-V-A-R-Y. She organized her condo association to come out to the rally in order to drum up support for Amendment 4.

QUINN: They should have the right to determine whether they bring a child into the world or whether they need an abortion for other health care reasons.

PRIEUR: Other supporters of the amendment included Anne Pierre. She drove several hours up from Palm Beach County to be at the rally. Her sign, it says, stop political interference. Pierre's also a yes vote on Amendment 4.

ANNE PIERRE: This is a democratic country where everybody has the right. And no one has the right to make a decision for a woman to know when they should carry their baby or not. At the end of the day, they will be the one taking care of it.

QUINN: Dozens of counter-protesters were also at the rally to call on voters to reject the amendment in the fall. Many held rosaries and crosses. Among them was Alma McCormick. She held signs that read, vote no on four and Amendment 4 equals abortion on demand. She says she strongly disagrees with allowing abortion up to the point of viability, or 24 weeks, as proposed by the amendment. She'll be voting no in November.

ALMA MCCORMICK: It makes me not only sad, but also, it makes me feel really bad for humanity because human life is for everyone. And the fact that people don't really respect human life in any stage is really unbelievable at this point.

PRIEUR: Next to her was Christine Crafton, who held a sign that said, say no, absolutely not to Amendment 4. She's worried the amendment would make abortion too readily accessible in the state.

CHRISTINE CRAFTON: This particular amendment is particularly offensive because it just totally opens up the door to a rather cavalier decision to abort one's child.

PRIEUR: Crafton says there's too much emphasis placed on making abortion easier in Florida.

CRAFTON: There are other options available to women who are feeling distress because of the pregnancy, perhaps because of economic issues, perhaps because of health issues.

PRIEUR: In Florida, it takes 60% of voters to approve an amendment, a higher bar than most other states. If it passes in November, Amendment 4 will legalize abortion up to the point of viability, or 24 weeks. It'll also overturn the 15-week ban and the six-week abortion ban expected to take effect on May 1. Florida is one of about a dozen states with an effort to get abortion rights on the ballot this fall. For NPR News, I'm Danielle Prieur in Orlando.

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