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Religious Coalition Announces Opposition to Fla. Antiabortion Ballot Measure

Religious Coalition Announces Opposition to Fla. Antiabortion Ballot Measure

September 20, 2012 — A group comprising members of the Catholic, Jewish and Unitarian faiths is speaking out against an amendment on Florida's November ballot that would constitutionally ban public funding for abortion care or coverage, News4Jax reports. The measure would need the support of 60% of voters to pass (News4Jax, 9/20).

Amendment 6 would make it harder to repeal existing state and federal bans on public funding for abortion. The measure 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 in Florida (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/27).

On Wednesday, Faith Voices Against Amendment 6 held a conference call featuring Jewish, Methodist and Unitarian clergy (Deslatte, Orlando Sentinel, 9/19). A Catholic attorney from the group also joined the call (News4Jax, 9/20).

The group said the Catholic church, which supports the amendment, is trying to impose its view on women.

The fight over the measure is "blurring" the lines of religious groups' involvement in the abortion-rights debate, according to the Capitol News Service (Ray, Capitol News Service, 9/19). The group behind Amendment 6 -- Citizens for Protecting Taxpayers and Parental Rights -- has raised more than $96,000 from Catholic dioceses across the state, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious groups (Orlando Sentinel, 9/19).