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Anti-Abortion Religious Groups Launch Campaign to Abolish Privacy Rights for Teens

| April 12, 2012

They have their own prophylactic for individual and privacy rights.

A coalition of anti-abortion groups this week launched a “Yes on 6” campaign to urge passage of a constitutional amendment that could pave the way for lawmakers to require parental consent before an abortion could be performed, and severely reduce privacy rights for teens.

Passed by lawmakers in 2011, the proposed amendment would change the state constitution to exempt abortion from issues covered by its privacy protection. (See the wording of the amendment below.)

The constitutional change is necessary, backers say, to circumvent a 1989 Florida Supreme Court ruling that said the right of a teenage girl to have an abortion without her parents’ consent is protected by the state constitution’s right to privacy, something that isn’t explicitly afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

The Citizens for Protecting Taxpayers and Parental Rights, a political action committee funded by the Florida Catholic Council, Florida Right to Life, Orlando-based Florida Family Action and the diocese of Venice, Fla., said parents have a right to be involved in such a critical decision.

“We believe it is unfair to parents to both hold them responsible, by law, for the child’s health while removing their ability to consent to the decisions that risk the very life of their child,” said Randy Armstrong, a Tampa obstetrician.

Further, Amendment 6 would prohibit abortions from being performed at taxpayers’ expense unless the pregnancy was due to rape or incest or if the woman’s life was in danger.

“This is not a call to deny access to abortions for anyone, but simply to say that a private act should not be at public expense,” Armstrong said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for abortion in Florida.”

According to Agency for Health Care Administration figures, taxpayers in fiscal year 2009-10 paid $534.60 in Medicaid payments for four abortions.

Critics say the amendment would harm women.

“The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates urges the public to vote no on Amendment 6 to protect women’s health and keep politicians out of private, medical decisions,” said Judith Selzer, vice president the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “Amendment 6 is politicians putting women’s health in danger. These decisions are best made by a woman with her doctor, family and her faith.”

The campaign is the latest chapter in a long-standing battle over the issue of privacy rights and abortion since the 1989 Florida Supreme Court decision.

In 2004, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow parental notification before an abortion, but constitutional protections remain intact for the procedure.

In 2011, lawmakers passed another measure bolstering notification requirements, but maintained judicial bypass procedures that allow teens to have abortions performed without notifying their parents.

During the same session, they passed HJR 1179, which called on voters to approve an amendment restricting privacy rights protections in abortion cases.

–Michael Peltier, News Service of Florida


This proposed amendment provides that public funds may not be expended for any abortion or for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion, except as required by federal law or to save the life of the mother. This proposed amendment provides that the State Constitution may not be interpreted to create broader rights to an abortion than those contained in the United States Constitution. With respect to abortion, this proposed amendment overrules court decisions which conclude that the right of privacy under Article I, Section 23 of the State Constitution is broader in scope than that of the United States Constitution.

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19 Responses for “Anti-Abortion Religious Groups Launch Campaign to Abolish Privacy Rights for Teens”

  1. BW says:

    “Teen privacy rights”? A parent absolutely should be involved in such a decision and the medical decisions of their child. It’s deplorable that a law even needs to be in place to say that. I say that if a teen wants that privacy and to make those decisions 100% on their own then they should be 100% providing for themselves. The reality is that they will not be and are dependent on their parents, are not mature enough to make such important decisions, and parents have a right to be involved in the decisions concerning their child.

  2. Nancy N. says:

    These guys don’t want to pay for the abortions…but I bet they don’t want to pay for state aid to raise these kids either after they basically force these teens to become parents.

    The war on women and minorities that is being waged as the economy and increasing diversity in our society has threatened the conservative white man is sickening.

  3. Sherry Epley says:

    And the Republican war against women continues. . . . see you at the ballot box!

  4. Outsider says:

    I don’t know if Flagler Live will let this link go up, but if you want to know what abortion really is all about, then you may want to look at these pictures. “Fetuses” are not amorphous blobs of tissue that are removed during an abortion; they are miniature human beings that are being murdered in the most vile of ways. If Republicans are waging a war on women, then these pictures can lead to no other conclusion than the pro-“choice” crowd is waging a war on very real children. How many of you pro-choice people are willing to tell me after looking at these pictures that this is not grotesque murdering of unborn children? Look at the faces of these so-called “choices.” Look at the agony in these faces. If you are “pro-choice,” you are for this carnage and mayhem. These pictures are extremely graphic; if you can’t handle the truth, or you already know abortion is wrong without seeing them, then DON’T go there.

    [Outsider, you were right to doubt whether we’d let your link be included here. We don’t run al-Qaeda quality snuff imagery or propaganda that is neither sourced nor credibly documented. But you knew that going in. So spare us your laments about “truth,” and try not abusing your privileges here. Thanks.–FL]

  5. B. Claire says:

    Unless I am misreading…from above article “According to Agency for Health Care Administration figures, taxpayers in fiscal year 2009-10 paid $534.60 in Medicaid payments for four abortions.”

    Five Hundred Thirty Four dollars and 60 cents…are you kidding me.

    Meanwhile 16.1% of Florida households have ‘statistically significant higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average 2008-2010: ….. 16.1% …..

    Get your priorities STRAIGHT! Stop wasting our money on trying to change a perfectly valid state Constitution …and instead, help families going HUNGRY… or going homeless etc, etc.
    Exactly how much money has been spent/wasted on this since the 1989 Florida Supreme Court decision, and 2004 – 2011…for what!?

  6. Layla says:

    How can you hold me responsible for my children’s health and safety if you are allowed to operate on them without my consent? I see nothing here protecting the parents.

    This is nuts.

  7. Ellen S. says:

    Pro-life advocates are concerned about the rights of the unborn child, why doesn’t anyone ever mention that?
    A kid in school can’t take an aspirin without written consent, but they can destroy a human life without their parents consent? Does that make sense?
    I think we are focusing on the wrong issue, why aren’t we teaching our young men and women that sex outside of marriage is detrimental to their physical and mental well being? Claire, having a child out of wedlock predestines our young folks to poverty… but killing the innocent baby is not the solution. Adoption is a much better answer in a crisis pregnancy, there are millions of couples waiting for a baby to adopt.

  8. Flagler Resident says:

    I find it odd that parents have to give permission before a student is given aspirin at school, yet the same law allows that same student to have an abortion without the parent’s knowledge. Go figure.

  9. Merrill says:

    The same people are out to create a stronger Florida theocracy by passing Amendment 8! That’s why we call them the “Florida Taliban!” No need to send our young people to Afghanistan. The same forces are at work right here! Will we be worthy of those who so valiantly have given there lives to stop theocrats 4000 miles away?

  10. John Boy says:

    The Catholic Church is one of the driving forces behind all of these laws, yet this week the following interesting actions where announced:

    – The Bishop of Kansas City will face criminal charges related to child abuse
    – In 2011 the Catholic Church paid $144,000,000. to settle child abuse cases
    – 574 new cases of child abuse where filed in 2011

    Maybe the Catholic Church should start to solved their own criminal problems rather than meddling in issues that affect more than their believers. Should I assume that the Church supports these laws because of their continual need to ensure new victims are available for the pleasure to it’s Priests.

    We need to address not only the Churches War on Women but also it’s War on Children.

    And for all of this we provide them tax exemptions to help further perpetrate these criminal activities.

  11. Outsider says:

    Fair enough, Flagler Live. The following link contains similar images, but also has the pathologist’s certification that the images are real. The name and location of the certifying physician are clearly visible. So, if it’s the authenticity of the photos that bothers Flagler Live, problem solved. My suspicion is, and you are welcome to prove me wrong, is that the imagery runs counter to your political viewpoint, and there really is no doubt as to the authenticity of these images or those contained in the edited link.

  12. Outsider says:

    And you proved me wrong, and thank you for that. Nancy, you are wrong and right: no, we don’t want to pay for these children; we don’t want them created in the first place. I believe that through teaching morals, values, and maybe even exposing children to religion that they may develop a sense of responsibility and not engage in behavior that could lead to unwanted pregnancy. Your attitude exemplifies why we have this problem in the first place; there is no accountability; everything is someone else’s fault. We “basically force” these children to become parents? Sorry, they do that on their own, and maybe the sexualization of children on TV and the media have something to do with that. And John Boy, you condemn the entire Catholic Church for the abhorrant behavior of a few? Are you going to condemn every public school teacher for the few that attack our children? Did you hear about the L.A. teacher that sexually abused numerous children over decades and nothing was done about it? Did you take your kids out of public school? And you say the church declared a war on children? Really? The last time I checked most churches opposed abortion; it is the left that advocates a “woman’s right to choose.” Did you look at the pictures and read the accounts in the link I posted above? No woman OR man has the “right” do that. How can anyone defend ripping apart live babies, or injecting the amniotic sac with saline solution so strong it burns them from the inside out to “soften them up?” How can the same people who congratulate themselves for ending the death penalty for murderers so adamantly defend the gruesome torture and murder of tiny babies in the womb? How can a person who performs these “procedures” stand to look at themselves in the mirror? Who’s going to be the first to defend what is in those images?

  13. Dorothea says:

    Outsider, have you given up your sex life because you want to avoid accidentally impregnating your loved one? Here are the stats for “children” who have abortions:

    • Eighteen percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are teenagers; those aged 15–17 obtain 6% of all abortions, teens aged 18–19 obtain 11%, and teens younger than age 15 obtain 0.4%.

    The pictures are not pretty, but there are no pictures of dead women who did not have a medically necessary late term abortion. There are no pictures of living born children who no longer have a mother. There are no pictures of women who suffer severe post partum depression, some to the point of psychosis. There are no pictures of mothers who cannot afford a child and who are already suffering economically or emotionally.

    Outsider, you live in a world where there are no shades of gray and where childbirth, no matter what the consequences, should be forced upon a woman once the sperm hits the egg. Most churches do NOT advocate such a policy. Just for the record, 28% of women who have abortions are Catholic.

  14. Outsider says:

    And just for the record, I never said there should never be abortions. Let’s not have a ridiculous conversation about forcing a mother to have a child when it will likely kill her. The fact is, only about 6 percent of abortions are medically necessary; another 1 percent are the result of rape or incest. So, that leaves 93 percent that are elected. And, I’m actually for the morning after pill. Sixteen cells joined together won’t feel a thing. The biggest problem here is the lie that most people are told about an abortion; they are told it’s a “procedure,” much like having a tooth extracted. They are not told that the child will be ripped apart to facilitate extraction from the body. They are not told the amniotic sac will be injected with a saline solution that will chemically burn the skin, the mouth, throat, etc. People don’t even want to look at a sonogram because it might illuminate the reality of what they are about to do. The vast majority of the people have no idea what happens during an abortion, and if the schools are going to insist on teaching kids how to have sex, then they should also show them the real horror they will cause if they seek an abortion. Noone should be insulated from the truth.

  15. "My Daily Rant" says:

    My daughter needs my consent to recieve an asprin at school, an asprin but some think its alright for her to abort a child and take that health risk, and nobody needs my premission.My child is the most important thing in the world to me and I dont want someone at a place like planned parenthood telling her its alright we dont have to tell your parents.VOTE YES ON 6 keep the parents involved we love our kids and will help them make the right choses.

  16. jespo says:

    As a father several times over I’ll say this. Any parent who doesn’t provide an abortion to their daughter who is under 15yo is a fruitcake who needs therapy. Any parent who does not provide birth control for their 16yo + daughter is also a fruitcake who refuses to accept that their child may have started sexual activity despite your nightly family bible reading. If she chooses to have an abortion that’s her choice. If she chooses to have a child after you’ve tried to have her get an abortion that’s her choice as well.

    It’s amazing to hear from grown ups who pass out at the sight of a needle or a little blood tell women they must view abortion tapes and sonograms. These are the same morons who refuse to allow birth control and next day pills to be made available with more ease thereby possibly eliminating the need to make the terrible abortion decision. It’s taken me a very long time to develop trusting relationships with my kids with a lot of work and sacrafice on my part. I don’t need some asswipe to tell me my daughter’s pregnant…she’ll tell me herself. That’s what good parenting will get you.

    Yes, I’ve seen abortion videos and pictures and they are terrible…but if my very young daughter looked at me crying and begged not to have a baby I’d find the one damned doctor left on the other side of the planet who still performed abortions. Nothing and no one stands between me and my children.

  17. Dorothea says:

    @My Daily Rant

    Proposition 6 is just a Republican ruse to get the uninformed to the polls. Only the uniformed will vote the Republicans back into office. It is already illegal for minors to have an abortion without parental consent.

    Let’s hope your daughter is intelligent enough to get herself to Planned Parenthood for birth control advice BEFORE she decides to have sex.

  18. Dorothea says:

    @ Outsider

    You have the knack of picking out only one part of an argument without addressing all other issues that you can’t defend. Almost all late term abortions are performed to save the mother’s life. Terrible choice, but it’s up to the mother, not the government to make the decision.

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