Florida Abortion, Amendment 6 (2012)

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Amendment 6
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Article I
Referred by:Florida State Legislature
Topic:Abortion
Status:Defeatedd
Amendment 6, also known as the Florida Abortion Amendment, was on the November 6, 2012 state ballot in Florida as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

The proposed measure would have prohibited the use of public funds for abortions except as required by federal law and to save the mother's life. Additionally, the measure stipulated that the state constitution cannot be interpreted to include broader rights to abortion than those contained in the United States Constitution.[1][2]

The Senate bill version (SJR 1538) was sponsored by Sen. Anitere Flores, while the House bill (HJR 1179) was sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley. HJR 1179 was referred to the ballot.

The proposed measure required 60 percent voter approval for adoption.

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
Florida Amendment 6
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No4,308,40855.1%
Yes 3,511,354 44.9%

These results are certified and final.

Results via the Florida Department of Election's website.

Text of the measure

Summary

The summary of the measure read as follows:

This proposed amendment provides that public funds may not be expended for any abortion or for health-benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion. This prohibition does not apply to an expenditure required by federal law, a case in which a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would place her in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, or a case of rape or incest. This proposed amendment provides that the State Constitution may not be interpreted to create broader rights to an abortion than those contained in the United States Constitution. With respect to abortion, this proposed amendment overrules court decisions which conclude that the right of privacy under Article I, Section 23 of the State Constitution is broader in scope than that of the United States Constitution.[3]

Constitutional changes

If enacted by voters, the measure would create Section 28, Article 1 of the Florida Constitution. To read the full text of the constitutional changes, click here

Support

  • The campaign to pass the measure was spearheaded by Say Yes on 6.
  • The group Citizens for Protecting Taxpayers and Parental Rights came out in support of the amendment. Randy Armstrong, president of the group, said, "On one hand Florida state law honors the rights of parents by requiring a parent’s consent if their minor child should need medication as simple as an aspirin at school, or some other medical treatment. Parental consent is also required for even mildly invasive physical procedures like tattoos or body piercing. Yet, a full surgical procedure like an abortion, which can result in permanent health or psychological damage – or even death – to their minor child, is exempted from this requirement.When passed, this amendment will open a way for elected officials to pass future legislation requiring parental consent for minors seeking an abortion."
  • Armstrong also said: " We are asking Florida voters to Say Yes on Amendment 6 to prohibit taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions. Let me be clear: this is not a call to deny access to abortion for anyone, but simply to say that a private act shouldn’t be a public expense – that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for abortion in Florida."

Supporters

  • U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
  • Speaker Designate Will Weatherford
  • FL. Senator Anitere Flores
  • Fl. Representatives Dennis Baxley and Rachel Burgin
  • Fl. CFO Jeff Atwater
  • Florida Farm Bureau
  • Florida Baptist Convention
  • Florida Family Action
  • Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Catholic Association of Latino Leaders
  • Catholics Called 2 Witness
  • Florida Right to Life
  • Florida Council of Catholic Women
  • Faith and Freedom Coalition
  • Christian Family Coalition
  • United Christians of Florida, Florida Eagle Forum

Opposition

The group Vote No on 6 formed to oppose the amendment. Campaign manager Judith Selzer pointed out that if passed, Amendment 6 would allow politicians to interfere with a woman’s right to make decisions about her own reproductive health. "Every woman deserves to make her own personal decisions based on her values and her doctor’s advice without politicians interfering," Selzer said.[citation needed]

Campaign contributions

The following data was taken from the Florida Division of Elections campaign finance database. The following political action committees are campaigning against the measure.

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Vote No On 6 1,927,692.83 1,504,481.85
Total 1,927,692.83 1,504,481.85

Path to the ballot

See also: Florida law for legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

In order to qualify for the November 2012 ballot the proposed amendment requires approval by a minimum of 60% in the both the House and the Senate.

On March 28, 2011 the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-2 in favor of the proposed measure. Previously, the proposal was approved by the Senate Health Regulation Committee following a 8-4 vote on March 14.[4] On April 15 the Senate Rules Committee voted 9 to 3 in favor; sending the proposal to the Senate floor.[5]

The House version, HJR 1179, of the proposed legislation was approved by the House on April 27 following a 82-35 vote. A day later, on April 28, the Senate voted 27-12 in favor of referring the measure to the ballot. However, the Senate amended the proposed legislation, therefore the measure must be approved by the House one last time.[6][7] On May 4 the House approved the amended bill thus referring the bill to the ballot. The House voted 79-34.[8][9]

Timeline

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The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:

Event Date Developments
Vote Mar. 28, 2011 The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-2 in favor of the proposed measure.
Vote Apr. 15, 2011 The Senate Rules Committee voted 9 to 3 in favor.
Approval Apr. 27, 2011 Proposed legislation was approved by the House following a 82-35 vote.
Approval Apr. 28, 2011 The Senate voted 27-12 in favor of referring the measure to the ballot.
Final vote May 4, 2011 Senate amended proposal, House had to approve bill before sending it to the ballot. The House voted 79-34 in favor.

See also

Template:EVeram

External links

Support

Opposition

Additional reading

References