ELECTION 2012: Florida Voters Defeat Amendment 6, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” Amendment

Voters refused to agree to a constitutional change that would have enshrined a ban on abortion coverage and reduced a woman or girl's right to privacy.

Photo: Fox 4.

On election night, Florida voters rejected an amendment that would have dramatically limited access to safe abortion care by restricting state funding for abortion, though it does not exist, limiting private insurance coverage of abortion care, and stripping privacy rights from teen girls seeking to terminate a pregnancy.

Amendment 6 was one of 11 constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot and was the no-taxpayer funding of abortion amendment in a state where there is no taxpayer funding of abortion. It also would have eliminated a teen’s ability to access health care privately, a Florida rule that has protected girls from requiring parental consent or notification prior to a termination.

Via the Orlando Sentinel:

Flustered by their inability to pass stronger abortion restrictions, lawmakers put Amendment 6 on the ballot — which would have prohibited state funding of abortion services or insurance coverage that covered abortions, and also removed the privacy protection in the constitution that had prevented stronger parental-consent laws from surviving legal challenges.

In a statement, Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said:

We commend the voters of Florida for joining what has become a national movement to wholly reject these attacks on reproductive freedom and to demand stronger protections for reproductive rights. By preserving women’s reproductive rights under the Florida state constitution, women and families will continue to have all options available to them so they can make the best health care decisions for their circumstances.

The Florida ACLU also applauded the defeat of the amendment.

“The people of Florida have sent a clear message that politicians have no place in a woman’s deeply personal and private medical decisions,” said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Whether assaults on women’s health are made at the ballot box, in the legislature or in court, the time has come to say enough is enough. Women deserve better.”

Amendment 6 received only about 40 percent of the vote. It needed 60 percent to pass.