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To: Interested Parties

From:    Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Date: November 7, 2012  

Re:      Defeat of Amendment 6: Decisive Warning to Politicians in Florida and Nation

Yesterday’s defeat of Amendment 6, yet another anti-woman’s health amendment,  marks a major victory for women’s health and shows that voters don’t want politicians interfering in women’s personal medical decisions.  

Decisions about pregnancy must be left to a woman in consultation with her family, her faith, and her doctor.  Amendment 6 would have handed over these deeply personal decisions to politicians, taken health care coverage away from women, and banned public insurance from covering a woman who needs to end a pregnancy, even if it was necessary to protect her health. 

Floridians Spoke Loud and Clear — the Public Doesn’t Want Politicians Dictating a Woman’s Deeply Personal Decisions

Electoral returns show that Florida voters rejected Amendment 6 by 10 points. 

Amendment 6 was added to the November ballot not by Florida voters, but by politicians in Tallahassee who just weren’t done chipping away at women’s health, even after passing four of 18 proposed anti-women’s health bills in 2011. 

It Is Clear That Ballot Measures Attacking Women’s Health Are a Failed Strategy.

Anti-women’s health ballot measures have long been a part of women’s health opponents’ national strategy to

  • overturn Roe v. Wade and end safe and legal abortion;
  • take personal and important medical decisions, such as what birth control to use, whether to get medical treatment for a miscarriage, and whether to undergo fertility treatment, out of a woman’s hands; and
  • mobilize and expand their base, while they try to force us to expend our time and resources working to defeat their dangerous proposals.

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.  But Floridians decisively voted no on Amendment 6 and voted to elect key women’s health champions, such as Senator Bill Nelson.

Planned Parenthood organizations in Florida and around the country donated their time to the successful No on 6 Campaign.  

  • 2,740 volunteer hours
  • 74,229 calls to voters
  • 20,000 doors knocked
  • 44 editorials, op-eds and letters to the editor urging a no vote on Amendment 6

A pro-women’s health message and a strategic grassroots approach combined for a winning political strategy to protect women’s health with sound defeats of recent anti-women’s health ballot measures in states across the country: 

  • Voters in Mississippi — the most conservative state in the union — defeated a “Personhood” ballot initiative by a 16-point margin in 2011 and “Personhood” was defeated twice by Colorado voters, first in 2008 and again in 2010 — and by a three-to-one margin.  “Personhood” supporters in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, California, Oregon, and Montana failed to get enough signatures to get on the November 2012 ballot.
  • The defeat of Measure Three, the so-called “Religious Liberties Restoration Amendment,” by nearly 30 points in North Dakota in 2012’s summer primary marked a major victory for women’s health care and represents a decisive warning for those seeking to make religious refusal of health services a political issue, even in conservative states.
  • Similarly, the defeat of ballot measures that would have banned nearly all abortions in South Dakota in 2006 and 2008 shows that voters stand with women and their personal decision making in the privacy of the ballot box.

The defeat of Amendment 6 in Florida is a decisive warning to politicians in Florida and across the country:  Health decisions should be left to a woman in consultation with her family, her doctor, and her faith — not politicians.