Fla. Ballot Measure Would Strengthen Ban on Public Funding for Abortion, Pave Way for Parental Consent

April 27, 2012 — An amendment on Florida's November ballot would enact a state constitutional ban on public funding for abortion to make it harder to repeal existing state and federal bans on the funding, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Amendment 6 also would exempt abortion from a privacy clause in the state constitution, which the Florida Supreme Court cited in striking down previous parental consent and notification laws for minors seeking abortion care. Supporters of the amendment have said the change would clear the way for enactment of a parental consent law (Owens, Orlando Sentinel, 4/27).

Planned Parenthood CEO Criticizes Amendment in Opinion Piece

Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, argues in a Sentinel opinion piece that the amendment would "let politicians interfere in personal health care decisions best made by a woman with her family, her doctor and her faith."

She notes that the amendment does not include an exception to protect a woman's health. "A pregnant woman who needs access to cancer treatment could be denied help to end her pregnancy even if it is what her doctor recommends," Tosh writes, adding that the ban "could take away health coverage that teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses and other public employees have today."

Tosh also criticizes the push to enact a parental consent law, noting that "Florida already requires parental notification and that won't change."

The amendment is "government overreach at its absolute worst," Tosh writes, adding, "We should not allow politicians to play politics with women's health" (Tosh, Orlando Sentinel, 4/27).