Religious leaders fight Florida amendment that would limit abortion funds

Group includes Catholics, Jews, Unitarians

Published On: Sep 19 2012 10:35:22 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 20 2012 10:37:31 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A coalition of religious leaders in Florida is trying to save public funding to end pregnancies.

The group of Catholics, Jews and Unitarians are uniting against Amendment 6, which, if supported by 60 percent of Florida voters in November, would ban public funding for abortions or health care coverage that would include abortions.

Public funding for abortion is already banned in Florida statute, but some pro-life advocates have pushed for the constitutional ban out of fear that state workers may use their state health benefits to pay for an abortion.

Amendment 6 would also allow lawmakers to give parents the final word when their teenager tries to terminate her pregnancy.  

On Wednesday, the anti-Amendment 6 coalition held a conference call and said that the ban would change a woman’s right to privacy. A Catholic attorney, a Jewish leader, and a reverend of The First Unitarian Church partook in the conversation.

“We Catholics have no right to impose our theology on people of other faiths,” said BJ Star.

“People of faith will have different opinions on many issues. Among those issues are parenting, pregnancy and abortion,” said Rev. Katy Schmitz, a Unitarian.

The Florida Catholic Conference has joined a group urging voters to support Amendment 6. They said it wouldn’t ban abortions in the state, but just keep tax dollars from paying for them.