October 3, 2012 — Fewer than half of Florida voters support a state ballot initiative (Amendment 6) that would limit public funding for abortion and limit the right to abortion under the state constitution, according to a poll by Suffolk University/7NEWS, the Orlando Sentinel's "Central Florida Political Pulse" reports. The amendment would need 60% approval to pass.
The survey included 600 registered voters and was conducted from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30. The poll is the first look at voter opinion on the issue ahead of next month's election, according to "Central Florida Political Pulse."
Forty-four percent of voters said they support the measure, while 40% oppose it. Fifteen percent said they were undecided and 2% did not state an opinion (Shaw, "Central Florida Political Pulse," Orlando Sentinel, 10/2).
Issues at Stake
Opponents of the proposal say the amendment's title -- "Prohibition on Public Funding of Abortions; Construction of Abortion Rights" -- and other wording are misleading because, among other reasons, public funding for abortion is already prohibited (Stockfisch, Tampa Tribune, 10/2).
Critics also say the measure could interfere with public employees' ability to purchase employer-sponsored health insurance that includes abortion coverage. They also note that there is no exception to protect the health of the woman (Deslatte, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 10/3).
Moreover, supporters acknowledge that approval of the measure would open the door for legislation requiring parental consent for minors to obtain abortion care. The state already requires parental notification (Tampa Tribune, 10/2).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.