Florida’s Amendment 6,which would prohibit spending public funds on abortion or on health insurance plans that cover abortion, except in the case of incest, rape or threat to the life of the woman, is an attempt to strip away women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion by popular vote. The proposed amendment is a symbolic effort to “put women in our place,” enshrining women’s lesser status in the state’s constitution. Once this language is added, it would be extremely difficult to change.
The first issue Amendment 6 addresses is restricting public funding for abortion. The Hyde Amendment already prohibits federal funding of abortion. Public employees in Florida would lose the right to make personal health decisions with their doctors.
Such restrictions on public funding for abortion are outright discrimination against women—after all, there are no such limitations on men’s reproductive healthcare and certainly no attempts to constitutionally codify such discrimination. An amendment seeking to ban public funding of drugs to treat erectile dysfunction would quickly fail.
Another aspect of the amendment would substantially change Florida law regarding the right to privacy.
Attempts to limit women’s right to reproductive healthcare have previously failed because women in Florida have a constitutionally protected right to privacy. A 1980 amendment to Florida’s constitution reads: “every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from government intrusion into the persons’ private life.” If Amendment 6 passes, the right to privacy currently protected by the Florida state constitution would be eliminated.
Eliminating the right to privacy in Florida might lead to parental notification laws which could place young women in danger, as well as requiring doctors to provide medically inaccurate information to their patients. Invasive, medically unnecessary ultrasounds might be required by law. Some forms of contraception might also be banned.
Amendment 6 is an attack on women and women’s rights in Florida. It is an attempt to strip women of the rights they are currently guaranteed by their state constitution. The Lindsay/Osorio campaign and the Party for Socialism and Liberation urge you to vote no on Amendment 6. Defend women's rights!