Sarasota News Leader

11/16/2012

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Sarasota News Leader November 16, 2012 ard Mourdock, the majority of voters across the United States demonstrated they do not want legislators to limit women's rights to make decisions about their bodies. In Florida, voters rejected proposed consti- tutional Amendment 6, which would have banned the use of public funds to pay for abortions or health insurance that covers abortions within the state — although this is already federal policy — and it would have re- moved the procedure from the privacy protec- tions guaranteed in the Florida Constitution. "I feel as I did when the U.S. Supreme Court issued Brown v. Board of Education," Fuen- tes wrote to her friends and supporters the morning after the election, referring to the landmark 1954 decision that declared it un- constitutional for states to impose laws man- dating separate public schools for black and white students. Page 65 The mood was a bit different a few hours ear- lier, though, when The Sarasota News Leader sat down with Fuentes before the polls closed to discuss the present day's most important women's issues and how they relate to strides made in the past. Although there was an air of uncertainty about the election outcomes, it was clear to Fuentes that, regardless of who would be leading the country and what ballot amendments would be enforced in the near future, very much still would need to be done before equality for women could be viewed as a reality. It seems to many, in fact, that women's rights have been facing visceral attacks from con- servative candidates and groups over at least the past two years. There have been attempts, for example, to defund Planned Parenthood, to require women seeking abortions to un- dergo invasive transvaginal ultrasound proce- dures and —through the Sanctity of Human (From left) The "Countdown to Election 2012" official panelists included Dr. Bonnie Greenball Sil- vestri, Dr. Scott Perry, Sonia Pressman Fuentes and Dr. Frank Alcock. They later were joined by attorney Adam Tebrugge, who at the time was running to represent District 71 in the Florida House of Representatives. Tebrugge took Alcock's place after Alcock had to leave for another engagement.

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