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Sarasota News Leader October 19, 2012 OPINION AMENDMENT 6: PROHIBITION ON PUBLIC FUNDING OF ABORTIONS; CONSTRUCTION OF ABORTION RIGHTS This amendment seeks to do three things: Add to the state constitution a prohibition against any public funding of abortions, with very limited exceptions; reduce the right to an abortion in Florida to no greater right than that conferred by the United States Consti- tution; and to dimin- ish the constitutional right to privacy to no more than that which is defined in the Unit- ed States Constitution. The State of Florida is one of only a few states in the union which has a specific right of privacy en- shrined in its constitu- tion. Article I, Section In Florida, however, the presence of that ex- plicit right in Article I, Section 23 would have the effect of continuing women's legitimate access to abortion, because the fundamental judicial philosophy on which Roe v. Wade was determined would remain unchanged. 6 and 8 to pass, the careful system of checks and balances built into the state constitution would end, and the Legislature would become a virtual politburo in the state, with the power to rule by legislative fiat. Specifically, were Amendments 5, Proponents of this amendment claim the state Florida Supreme Court overturned a pa- rental notification law in 1989 on the grounds that it violated the con- stitutionally mandated right of privacy. They disingenuously claim that a minor must have parental permission to receive medications at 23, which was adopted in 1980, prohibits gov- ernment interference in the private actions and decisions of its citizens. The Roe v. Wade decision of the U.S. Supreme Court was based on a court-assumed right to privacy. Since 1973, opponents have argued that, in the absence of explicit language in the federal Constitution granting such a right to privacy, the court decision was fatally flawed. If, in some future term of the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade is limited or overturned because of this, the only recourse would be to amend the United States Constitution to add an ex- plicit right to privacy. school, but not to have an abortion. Of course, receiving an aspirin at school requires paren- tal permission because of the implied contract between the parents and the schools. It does not intrude upon the student's right of privacy, because that student could easily obtain the medication on his or her own, and in complete privacy, at a nearby pharmacy or retail store. The right to deal with a pregnancy in private is an entirely different matter. Assuming a legitimate public interest in lim- iting the ability of minors to obtain abortions without parental consent, the Legislature sim- ply could have proposed an amendment that Page 63

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