Women’s rights are under attack and are in serious danger of being lost. I work for a campaign to get the word out about voting NO on Amendment 6. For those who do not know, Amendment 6 states that it would prohibit public funds to be used for abortion and that Florida’s right to privacy is not applicable to abortion-related issues. The measure would allow more restrictive abortion laws to be found constitutional by Florida courts, and restate in the Florida Constitution federal and state law that prohibits public funds from being used for abortion or health insurance coverage of abortion.
To begin on how terrible this amendment is, let me be perfectly clear: it is already illegal to use public funds for abortion or health insurance coverage of abortion. Public funds are not used to pay for any type of abortion services (check out the Hyde amendment), and stating it in this amendment is deceitful and underhanded. This talk of public funding moves the focus away from the real issue, which is privacy laws and restrictions on women’s health. Though the writing on the amendment concerns abortion, this new piece of legislation would open the floodgates to more restrictions to not just abortion but anything else that could be considered related to abortion, such as birth control and other contraceptives.
Amendment 6 also endangers women’s health. If a pregnant woman’s health is threatened, Amendment 6 could ban insurance from covering medical care she needs to end a pregnancy and protect her health. Also under this amendment, a severe fetal abnormality could cause a woman and her family to struggle to pay for necessary medical care even though they have insurance. Apart from pregnant women, Amendment 6 could prevent a woman with cancer from getting the care she needs to protect her health.
This amendment inserts politics where it does not belong. Politicians should not be involved in personal medical decisions and should not impose their beliefs on women when they are making such important decisions about their lives. This piece of legislation is just another way to say that women are not to be trusted with the decisions that effect their own body. But NO ONE knows what is best for my body and my life better than me, and I bet most women feel the same way. It is scary to think that older white men could have more power over my own body than I do.
Do you live in Florida? Check your registration status and vote early or get out to the polls November 6th to vote against Amendment 6! You can also get involved in the last few days before the election by volunteering to phone bank, donating money, and connecting with your local feminist student group like mine at Florida State University, the F-Word!
Don’t live in Florida? You can still help spread the word to your friends and family who live there! You can also help collect donations, and spread the word through social media using Twitter hashtag #NoOn6 and liking/sharing this Facebook page. Visit the Vote No on 6 Coalition website for more info.