Amendment 6 Takes Away Health Coverage and Makes No Exception to Protect Women’s Health
Memo from Judith Selzer, Planned Parenthood:
We want to correct the record on the potential impact of Amendment 6. In recent coverage across Florida, Amendment 6 has been described as having provisions to protect a woman’s health and being redundant to current Florida law and the federal Hyde Amendment. That’s not accurate; Amendment 6 reaches beyond current Florida statute and the federal Hyde Amendment. In fact, it threatens the health and insurance coverage of women in Florida.
Life vs. Health Exceptions
Amendment 6 has limited exceptions for rape, incest and physical situations that “place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.” This does not include an exception for the woman’s health even when a doctor advises a woman to end her pregnancy.
For example, Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran shares:
“For me, this issue hits very close to home. I actually had a patient who was diagnosed with cancer after she learned she was pregnant. She needed to start chemotherapy right away to protect her health but to do so I advised her she would need to end her pregnancy.
“If Amendment 6 were to pass, it could preclude health plans from covering the care my next patient in this situation needs. This kind of political interference may serve a certain political agenda but it would be extremely harmful to my patients.”
Current Florida Law vs. Amendment 6
Amendment 6 reaches far beyond current Florida statute and the federal Hyde Amendment restrictions by taking away health insurance coverage for public employees – such as a nurse, teacher, police officer or fire fighter – even if her health was at risk due to a serious illness like cancer, her fertility is threatened, or she is facing a pregnancy with a severe fetal abnormality.
The federal Hyde Amendment limits the use of federal Medicaid funds for low-income women to end a pregnancy. Amendment 6 goes beyond Hyde by threatening to take away health insurance coverage for all public employees such as nurses, teachers, and fire fighters.
Personal Medical Decisions
The most important fact is that Amendment 6 is political interference in a woman’s personal health decisions. Imagine a teacher is diagnosed with cancer and her doctor recommends that she end her pregnancy in order to protect her health. Amendment 6 would deny her the health care coverage she needs – coverage she could have now under her health insurance.
No woman should be denied access to the health care that she and her doctor determine she needs. Certainly women who dedicate themselves to public service – nurses, teachers, police officers and firefighters – should be able to count on their insurance to protect their health.
We believe it is important for the public to understand that Amendment 6 isn’t just unnecessary, but, rather, is more intrusive than the already restrictive federal Hyde Amendment because Amendment 6 takes away health insurance coverage from Floridians we trust with our own health and safety and it has no exception to protect a woman’s health. To suggest that Amendment 6 is simply redundant minimizes the potential reach and negative impact that Amendment 6 could have on Florida’s families.
Thank you for your coverage of this issue. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you as you help ensure that voters understand the facts about Amendment 6 so that they can make an informed decision on Election Day.Tweet