Pritzker group invests $500K in Florida ballot initiative

May 1, 2024

A policy advocacy group founded by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) is investing $500,000 into efforts to enshrine abortion rights in the Florida Constitution as a strict six-week ban takes effect in the Sunshine State. 

“Today, women in Florida will be stripped of nearly all their reproductive rights. An extreme, six-week abortion ban is dangerous, cruel, and un-American,” said Christina Amestoy, communications director for Pritzker’s pro-abortion rights group, Think Big America. “Restoring abortion access in Florida is critical not just for women in the state but for women across the region.”

The nonprofit group is backing Floridians Protecting Freedom, the primary coalition behind the abortion amendment, which the state’s Supreme Court last month said can go before voters this November.

But Florida’s highest court on the same day also upheld a 15-week abortion ban, which effectively greenlighted a six-week ban to take effect this Wednesday. The new restrictions include exceptions for rape, incest, medical emergencies and some “fetal anomalies,” but patients must provide documentation to claim the exception.

If approved this fall, the Florida constitutional amendment would counter the six-week restrictions and solidify reproductive protections up to fetal viability. 

Think Big America’s support for the Sunshine State’s effort follows a $1 million donation to a similar ballot campaign in Nevada, and a $250,000 donation to a campaign in Arizona, according to Amestoy.

Measures to enshrine abortion are now on the ballot in Florida, New York and Maryland — and organizers are working to get similar initiatives in more than half a dozen other states. Democrats hope the measures, coupled with a sense of doom about impending bans, will juice turnout and boost blue candidates up and down the ballot. 

“By eliminating a crucial abortion access point in the region, Florida’s abortion ban not only hurts women and families in Florida but those in neighboring states as well,” Pritzker said Wednesday in a statement. “It is critical that we restore reproductive rights in Florida this November.”

He also argued that Florida’s six-week ban has made women “second-class citizens” in their state.