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How Did Abortion Fare in the Election?

How Did Abortion Fare in the Election?

Florida resoundingly defeated a cynical and mean-spirited constitutional amendment, leaving women’s health relatively safe in the state. The defeat bodes well for those hoping for a return to some sanity in a state taken over by Tea Party extremists.

Amendment 6
was dubiously named the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” amendment and, had it passed, it would have dramatically restricted access to safe abortion care by limiting private insurance coverage of abortion care, eliminating privacy rights of teen girls needing to terminate a pregnancy and by addressing the boogeyman of non-existent state funding for abortion.

Anti-women’s health politicians and activists were hoping that a win on Amendment 6 in Florida would give life to a national movement that has suffered major setbacks at the ballot box over the past several years and led to a tidal wave of anti-women’s health legislation in Florida. That didn’t happen. As reported by 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. It failed with 45 percent of the votes. 60 percent is needed for passage.

A lot of factors could explain why Amendment 6 was defeated. Ballot initiatives are often torturously worded and voters tend to skip over them. And Florida had 11 legislatively drawn constitutional amendments, creating a historically long ballot that contributed to voting woes in the state.

But it’s also worth noting that Amendment 6 was part of a companion attack on expanding access to health care. Floridians also voted on Amendment 1, which would have explicitly provided that Florida couldn’t impose its own health-care mandate. Amendment 1 also failed, garnering only 48 percent of the votes cast. And Amendment 9, which pitted religious groups against teachers unions, would have deleted the ban on public funds going directly or indirectly to any church, sect or religious denomination won only 44 percent of the vote.

Taken together these defeats suggest Florida voters have a much clearer understanding of the First Amendment than Tea Party legislators in the state. It also suggests that Florida voters understand that “religious liberty” is not a sword by which Christian conservatives can impose religious law in this country. Perhaps they should send some of that knowledge along to their friends in Montana, Alabama, Wyoming and Missouri who all passed similar anti-Obamacare ballot initiatives demanding their state not benefit from health care reform. Montana went the extra mile and passed a parental notification prior to an abortion for minors 15 years of age and younger. Previous attempts to pass parental notification in Montana were thwarted by the courts and Governor Brian Schweitzer.

These more localized votes show that while women and women’s rights made significant electoral strides forward this election, anti-choice politicians have no problem pushing anti-abortion measures any way they can, which means it could be ultimately up to voters to determine just how much access to reproductive health care the women and girls in their states should have.


Related Stories:

Results For the Country’s 30 Most Crucial Ballot Measures

Sexism Loses Hard (Mostly)

What Now For The Conservative Movement?


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Photo from sagegale via flickr.

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3:13PM PST on Dec 2, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

7:16AM PST on Dec 2, 2012

No one should be forced to continue with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. Please care about women in this position. Thank you.

4:59PM PST on Nov 17, 2012

Allan Y: Which is worse, having an abortion without paying for it, or popping babies and letting others pay for their upkeep?

2:57PM PST on Nov 17, 2012

In other words, a girl can have an abortion without paying for it. In my day, this was called delayed birth control. I wonder how much this is going to cost Florida?

9:42AM PST on Nov 16, 2012


5:42PM PST on Nov 15, 2012

Yeah Tim I found it hilarious on one level and very disconcerting on so many others. It truly had to be an embarrassing moment for Mittens to be standing there while Meatloaf was bending over trying to put his arm around him.

No they haven’t a clue what the first amendment is. There are scores of people out there who truly believe this is a christian nation, a theocracy. Most of them haven’t cracked a book unless it’s the bible, a trashy novel or a back hoe manual in years. It sounds like few of them graduated from high school either.

They weren’t fooling about him being a Muslim, or the dun-dun-dunnhhhhhh dreaded Buddhist invasion of the socialists.

Years ago after meeting people who were of this caliber I had a saying where I would laugh when using it saying “And these people are voters!”

5:38PM PST on Nov 15, 2012

Strange how the trolls Albert And Ron G. are not here polluting this thread with their anti-choice rhetoric, but they have no problem over on this thread:

5:28PM PST on Nov 15, 2012

@Micheal ~ Just watched that video . . . Wow! Just wow! It's funny, but at the same time it's sad that so many people could actually be that stupid. Meatloaf should go make a new album and call it, "Bat Shit Lunatic out of Hell". The religious references is what killed me the most, do these people honestly not understand the First Amendment? Do they not realize we are a nation of many religions, and in fact, anyone can make up and establish their own religion and the government will protect your right to do so? And a wake up call to the lady that said Obama has divided the country . . . I got news for her, it's been divided way longer than when Obama was made President. Funny, yet disturbing video, nonetheless. ;-)

10:00PM PST on Nov 14, 2012

your voices were heard

8:54PM PST on Nov 14, 2012

Mari, I am glad you found humor in it. I am originally from Ohio where those people are from.

I drove through and hitchhiked through towns in Ohio where people are just like that. Bucyrus-Erie, Cuba (which still makes me shudder to remember the people there even though I got out of there is quickly as I could).

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