Battleground 2024: State Constitutional Amendment Update

BREAKING: Florida Supreme Court approves abortion ballot measure for November. In response, Created Equal will soon take our grassroots campaign to the streets and doorsteps of Florida voters and publish effective TV ads.

Our teams of young people will be going door to door, making phone calls, hitting the college campuses and downtown squares to convince Floridians to keep their state from enshrining painful late-term abortion into their Constitution.

In this episode, Mark gives his listeners an insider view of 2024 battlegrounds from Peter Northcott from National Right to Life.

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*This is an AI generated transcript, and may contain errors*

Mark Harrington (00:00):

Hello everybody. We have breaking news coming out of Florida. That is the Florida Supreme Court has approved the ballot language for the abortion ballot measure to go on the ballot in November. We’re going to be talking about that today on the program with an expert that is Peter Northcott from National Right to Life. And we’re also going to give you an update on the landscape for 2024 when it comes to these state constitutional amendments. There are several of them in the works, and we’re hearing each day changes about things. We’re going to find out pretty soon how many of these actually get on the ballot in 2024. So stick around for an update


All Mark Harrington here, your radio activist, and you can follow me on social media by going to mark And obviously you can pick us up on all the popular podcasting platforms today. My guest is Peter Northcott from National Right to Life. And Peter is really the one-stop shop for the state Constitutional Amendments. He’s somebody who keeps me up to speed as to what’s going on around the country with these, and we’re looking at several of these in 2024. Of course, Ohio was the only one in 2023, and we covered that very, very in depth here, of course, because we’re based in Ohio. But we want to talk about the big one that this week, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the language that was proposed by the pro-abortion industry has been approved. Now, there were a lot of people on the ground that didn’t think that was going to happen.


They were reading the tea leaves of the court when it was argued in front of them and thought that the Supreme Court would not approve the language. I was one to think, I’m just a cynic. I guess I was one that figured they were going to approve it and they did. And so now game on in Florida. So Peter, if you would, you were with us in the fight in Ohio. I want to talk about some of the lessons learned as we can apply these to Florida, but what is your reaction, at least initially as regards the Florida Supreme Court approving the language to get on the ballot there in November?

Peter Northcott (02:26):

Sure, and Mark, thank you so much for having me on. As you said, it really is breaking news this week with the Florida Supreme Court allowing this really extreme, far reaching constitutional amendment on the ballot down in Florida. Look, this is going to be a national fight. I mean, the abortion industry is going to be targeting Florida. Not only are they a destination for abortions in the Southwest region, but they are a destination for international abortions from South America. So you can imagine the moneymaking industry, the abortion industry, putting so much of the resources into Florida to try and flip that state. And so it’s going to be a fight and we have a fight in our

Mark Harrington (03:04):

Hands. No doubt, no doubt. If you would, Mr. Producer, pop up the piece I wrote on our website called Why Ohio Fell. And Friends, if you haven’t read this, please do. I mean this just goes over some of the basically my insights as regards to the Ohio Battle, which occurred last year. Some of the takeaways, if you will, the after action report. And one of the main ones that I brought forward is this, that we can’t continue the current messaging and expect a different result. And I know, Peter, you agree with me on this. It’s interesting that the Florida language, and I’d like to read this and Mr. Producer, if you would pop up the website there too Extreme for Florida, and they have the amendment language, and I want to read that for our viewers and listeners here. It says this, and this is the language.


First of all, the title to the amendment is misleading. It says Limiting government interference with abortion. Now that isn’t biased. I don’t know what is because that Oh, limiting. Yeah, I want to limit government. I mean, who doesn’t these days? But I digress. It says this, no law shall prohibit penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability. And I want you to hang on to that word right there. Viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health or determined by the patient’s healthcare provider. This amendment does not change the legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion. Now, there are two points that I want to make here, and I want, Peter, I want you to comment on this. The whole issue of viability, it was a big thing in Ohio of course, and that is how do we define it?


Well, historically viability has meant that a point to which a baby can live outside the womb of the mother. That’s how it’s been interpreted over the years. But that is changing. You only have to look at the words of Warren Hearn, who’s an abortionist, who there was this kind of this personal puff piece written in Atlantic, the Atlantic last year where he was interviewed and he basically has redefined it. And Warren Hearn, if you don’t know, he wrote the book, the handbook called Abortion Practice, which is the handbook for physicians on how to perform abortions. This guy’s out front outspoken advocate for abortion is an abortionist, late term abortionist in Colorado. And in this article he says, and this is the writer or the article says, horn though believes that the viability of a fetus is determined not by gestational age, get this, but by a woman’s willingness to carry it. So now viability doesn’t have anything to do with the biology of the baby, how far along the baby is at all. It just has to do with the woman’s ability or willingness to carry it. That’s the problem, isn’t it, Peter, that viability can be interpreted basically anyway and the courts are going to end up doing it if this thing is put in the Constitution of Florida.

Peter Northcott (06:25):

Absolutely, and Mark, and to that point, during oral arguments over this now Amendment four in Florida, one of the Supreme Court justices noted that definition of healthcare provider could be a tattoo artist.

Mark Harrington (06:38):


Peter Northcott (06:38):

You think about that when it comes to determining viability, the most basic health and safety standards could be done away with this amendment. The definitions are very, very vague. This is abortion up to the moment of birth, no limits. There’s some window dressing dealing with parental notification for polling purposes. But we really have to attack this for what it is. This is unfettered abortion that’s going to be potentially released on Floridians,

Mark Harrington (07:05):

Right? My case has always been in this and that is constitutional amendments are one size fits all. Once they’re in the constitution, they’re very difficult to repeal or change, obviously that’s the point. And these types of issues like abortion should be left to the legislature to decide where there’s nuance, where there’s give and take, where there’s compromise, where there’s, because once it’s in the Constitution, it’s left up to courts to decide and we know what happens then We dealt with that for 40 or whatever, 49 years with Roe v. Wade or whatever, 50 years. That’s the problem is you take something out of the hands of the people to be able to change the policy of the state of Florida and you just put it in the Constitution and then it’s left up to the courts. This issue of viability, you could drive a Mack truck through. And that’s one of the biggest concerns we have going forward. And so when I mentioned that the messaging needs to change, I mean you followed us in Ohio for one felt we needed to make it about abortion. We need to start talking about abortion rather than just the tangential issues of parental rights and health of the mother. Although those are important, central to our debate and discussion needs to be what abortion is and does, especially to post viability babies.

Peter Northcott (08:25):

Well, of course, look, the tactics and the messaging have to change. We’ve seen what’s happened before, and I think there are some lessons that have been learned from Ohio, from Michigan, from Kansas, from elsewhere. But the electorate has a number of opinions when it comes to abortion. So for some segments of the electorate, of course, health and safety standards are going to be very important. They’re important to everybody. Parental notification is an area of concern when it comes to this issue of viability. Like you pointed out that the extremity of the abortions that could be performed again by a tattoo artist, by non-physicians, I think is something that we have to continue to talk about. The Florida Supreme Court upheld a protection for babies up to 15 weeks. At 15 weeks a child can feel pain and the dismemberment process that takes place of a child at that gestational age, there are individuals that are pro-choice that believe that the dismemberment procedure is too far. So I think we do have a number of arguments that we can bring before the public, but ultimately it comes back to this is unfettered unlimited abortion that will likely be foisted upon the people of Florida. And the vast majority of Floridians, vast majority of Americans are not in support of that position. So that’s where really we have to lead with all of these initiatives across the country.

Mark Harrington (09:44):

Agreed. And it’s interesting that the Supreme Court tried to have it both ways. They upheld the 15 week abortion ban, which had been on the books, but challenged, and now they’ve got 30 days to which the heartbeat law will be put in effect. And so they on one hand approved these measures, which now with Dobbs being the national standard, you make sense. But on the other hand, they voted to allow the pro-abortion people to put an amendment on the ballot to change the constitution. It’s kind of like they split the baby, so to speak, not to use a pun here, but they tried to have it both ways to figure out some kind of middle political ground. That’s the way I take it.

Peter Northcott (10:32):

Sure. And I think it was interesting. So it was a six one decision by the court to uphold the 15 week protection, which clears the way for a six week protection. It was a four, three decision on whether to allow the amendment four to move forward. It was the three women on the court that were opposed to allowing the amendment to move forward. One of those justices being the one that pointed out the reality of the tattoo artist being able to potentially perform abortions or refer to abortion. So the court did ultimately ruled how it did rule. And so look, we are at the point now where we have to move forward and we have to defeat this thing. And as I said, this is one of the biggest battles. The abortion industry will pour everything that they can into Florida. They’re going to pour out resources into every single state. Every single state is important, but they’ve already signaled the importance of Florida up to this point.

Mark Harrington (11:25):

And obviously it has electoral interest in the Democrats who think now they can carry the state with this thinking that people come to the polls to vote yes on proposition four. And so now they say that possibly it could be in play for the presidential race. I’m not so certain about that, but they believe that. And the thing is, and as you know Peter, Florida is the prize. It would be the prize, it’d be like the crown jewel, the abortion industry if they were able to take Florida. So it is hugely important. I think it is the national fight here in 2024. There are plenty more, and they’re important as well. But as far as the significance of winning in Florida, in some ways it’d be bigger than taking Ohio because in Florida, unlike Ohio, they have a 60% threshold, which they have to go 60% plus one vote in order to get this thing done. And I haven’t seen any polling on it. I don’t know if you have, but I’ve told people, I said, don’t rest on your laurels here 60%. That is no guarantee for us that we can defeat it.

Peter Northcott (12:35):

No, absolutely. Though the fight needs to be taken to the abortion industry on this referendum, and you can’t just let a 60% threshold hold you back. We have to fight this at every turn. You don’t want a majority of the electorate to support this. And I do think with as broad as this language is, if the right campaigns are put together, they can push back and push back aggressively. And that’s what individuals across Florida are doing right now is preparing for this major battle. But there is no question of the electoral significance of this battle. And so the Biden administration has already said that they’re targeting Florida based on this referendum. So it is going to be a big fight. It’s going to be a national fight.

Mark Harrington (13:18):

Yeah. And what do you take from the, I guess, conventional wisdom that the pro-life message issue is a loser for Republican candidates in 24? I know that we’ve gone oh, for seven with the constitutional amendments. Now of course, I don’t count all of them. I mean Vermont and California, they were already abortion up to birth. So I don’t really count those, but I do count Michigan and Ohio as defeats. How do you read it politically as far as the pro-life message? Because it seems to me a lot of Republicans are running from it.

Peter Northcott (13:52):

Sure. Well, part of the problem we’ve had, and of course Mark, you’ve experienced this firsthand in Ohio, well, there’s two problems. One, it’s the massive amount of money that is being brought into these states. I mean, when you look at any political campaign, if you’re out spent two to one, it doesn’t matter. The issue doesn’t matter the candidate, I mean it is a major factor. The money counts. Plus you have the press by default who they adopt the abortion industry language. An individual’s not pro-life, they are anti-abortion or they want to take rights away from somebody. Well, with the issue of rights on the ballot of an individual when it comes to that issue, of course with the framing that’s being used and the amount of money by default, somebody might lean towards something that is perceived as increasing a right or not taking a right away.


So there’s some things in the broader culture that we have to cut through. Now, the life issue is a winning issue. We just have to talk about it in the proper manner and not use the terms that the press tries to push forward onto us. We are pro-life there to protect the rights of individuals, not take them away. So I think we will continue to move forward and using the messaging that works best tells our side of the story and start showcasing these cases where individuals have been hurt from unlimited abortion in a number of these states. We have to continue to push those stories forward. And I really do believe that individuals that have been hurt by the abortion industry, abortion survivors or individuals that were not protected through parental notification or lack of safety standards, they’re the ones that really have some of the most influence in these fights moving forward. And so I think we have to continue to push those stories forward. If we put those stories forward, we lead with compassion. We show that we’re the ones that are there to defend individuals and protect individual liberty and their rights. It is a winning issue.

Mark Harrington (15:55):

Agreed. You know me, I think we need to make it about abortion. They’re going to make it about abortion. We shouldn’t shy away from the debate over what happens to the unborn, especially later in pregnancy where there’s a strong consensus amongst Americans and for that matter, for Floridians, that it should be outlawed. Certainly that’s a winning issue for us, and I hope and pray that we will be making that a case in Florida. I’d like to transition quickly here, Peter, and talk about some of these other states. Now, my last count, there’s up to 12, but really there are maybe 4, 5, 6 of these that might come online in 2024. I’m asking you to put your crystal ball hat on or whatever you want to call it to try to predict if you would, where we stand with this. There are several states that look like they’re likely going to approve language and be on the ballot, which are those that you’re aware of. If you would just give us a quick update,

Peter Northcott (17:01):

And this seems to be changing here by the week, and there’s a number of legislative sessions that are still ongoing. We are about to hit a couple of signature collection deadlines here in the next month or so. Right now, referendums are on the ballot in New York, Maryland, and now Florida. There are aggressive efforts by the abortion industry underway in Arizona, in Nevada. There has been some litigation with the State Supreme Court in Montana. You look at Arizona in Nevada. Those are states that have US Senate implications in Arizona. There’s implications on the presidential race and of course Montana. There’s a US Senate race. So it looks like the abortion really is trying to focus these referendum efforts on areas that could impact the national political scene, US Senate, presidential race or some congressional races as well. Keeping track of all of those. We know that there are aggressive efforts underway in South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Arkansas. I just saw some headlines that there’s renewed efforts up in Minnesota to try and put a ballot initiative on the ballot there as well. We will see where that comes. And there’s efforts in Connecticut and Virginia, whether it’s here in 2024 or 20 25, 20 26. So they are certainly targeting states across the country to put forward these initiatives. And we’re going to see where this all turns out. But I definitely would keep an eye on the states that have implications for the presidential race or the US or control of the US Senate as

Mark Harrington (18:54):

Well. So if you had to predict how many of you think will be on the ballot in 24,

Peter Northcott (18:59):

It’s still hard to say you.

Mark Harrington (19:01):

I won’t hold you to it. Sure. Based on what you can see right now.

Peter Northcott (19:05):

Sure. You could potentially see up to 10, I would say, based on the signature collections that moves the abortion industry is making. Now, that being said, though, there are aggressive efforts underway as you very well know in states with decline to sign, educating the public about the signatures that are being gathered. And so there’s a lot of efforts underway. People are working with their legislatures to try and educate them on the implications of this. So of course, we’re not going to concede any state and there’s a lot of efforts underway, but it’s very, very possible. You could see up to 10,

Mark Harrington (19:42):

Wow, my guest has been Peter Northcut, he’s with National Rights of Life, giving you an update on the 2024 landscape as regards the state constitutional amendment battle. And it looks as though there are several states that are now online, Florida being the biggest one right now. Of course, some of the others are probably foregone conclusions, unfortunately like Maryland and New York, but there are plenty others where it looks like there’s going to be this happening this year. And as Peter said, we can’t concede any of ’em. We certainly want to be fighting and all of them and created equals doing all we can. I know you are at National Right to Life to assist those state coalitions to defeat these measures. And friends, if you want to get involved in the battle, which is this, is it friends? This is it. I know the presidential battle is huge.


Of course, the White House and everything else and the Senate races, the United Senate, but when we have up to 10 state constitutional amendments, they’ll be on the ballot this year. This is a big year. Friends, we got to come away with some victories. And you can get involved by going to National Right to Life’s That’s or if you want to help us out, we are assisting some of these states with the use of our volunteer portal. That is our grassroots door to door and phone banking portal. You can support us or get involved by going to created Peter, thanks for being on the program and staying on top of what’s happening across America regarding these ballot initiatives. And I want to have you back on later in the year to give us a full update once we can see clearly as to where we stand on these.

Peter Northcott (21:23):

Absolutely. Mark, thank you so much for having me on and continuing the fight.

Mark Harrington (21:29):

Well, friends, I hope that the information given to you by Peter Northcott of National Rights to Life was helpful to get you up to speed of what’s happening across the America when it comes to the state Constitutional amendment battles. As you all know, Florida’s going to be the mother of all battles this year. It is ground zero for 2024. And if you think Ohio was big in 23, Florida’s even bigger in so many regards because it’s the 60% threshold in Florida, and it carries implications on the national presidential race for sure. It would be the crown jewel, as I said, of the abortion industry if they are able to pull this off. So if you want to get involved, you can go to create We’re going to be helping out our friends down there in the coalition, especially Florida right to Life, who is going to be running in a grassroots effort, knocking on doors, making phone calls.


So you can go to our website to create or go to Florida, right to Life’s website, and you can sign up to be a volunteer to be involved in defeating the Proposition four, which is the Florida Abortion Amendment. Also, we have two more day of action events coming up soon, and Mr. Producer, if you would pop those up, the next two are happening here. If you would, let me look at the dates here. I can’t see ’em. There they are. Cincinnati, Ohio will be April 14 and 15. If you live in the state of Ohio or you’re in the adjacent states, you can make your way to Cincinnati, April 14 and 15. And Toledo, which are April, I can’t see those. 18 and 19. Those are April 18 and 19. My eyesight’s not what it used to be. So April, 1819 in the Toledo area.


And the day of action is simply this. We train you the night before. We take you out in pro-life, apologetics in a talk, which we entitle, let’s talk abortion, and we also train you in sidewalk counseling. And then the next day, you can choose whether you want to go to a college campus and debate students or whether you want to go to a local abortion center and sidewalk council. So that’s your choice. And again, April, 1415 in Cincinnati. And in Toledo, April 18 and 19. That’s your call to action today. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time. God bless you. God bless America, and remember America. So bless God.

Outro (24:01):

You’ve been listening to Mark Harrington, your radio activist. For more information on how to make a difference for the cause of life, liberty and justice, go to created To follow mark, go to Mark Harrington Be sure to tune in next time for your marching orders in the Culture War.