The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops are grateful to supporters for dedication and commitment; will continue to pursue protection of all life and work in defense of religious liberty
The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops expresses sincere gratitude to all Floridians who voted ‘yes’ on Amendments 6 and 8 to the Florida Constitution. Those who worked diligently towards their passage these past weeks and months are to be commended for their unwavering commitment to uphold life and liberty. Amendment 6 received 45% in favor and Amendment 8 received 44%, short of the required 60% for passage. This was a disappointing showing for both amendments; however, we remain faithful even if at times unsuccessful in our goals.
Amendment 6 would have placed in our state constitution a prohibition on the use of public funds for abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother, and would have allowed for future legislation to restore parental consent in order for a minor to have an abortion. “Without passage of a constitutional amendment, parents are deprived of their rights regarding this decision that can have life-long physical and emotional consequences because of a Florida Supreme Court ruling that a school-aged child has a right to an abortion without a parent’s consent,” said Sheila Hopkins, Associate Director for Social Concerns/Respect Life. Amendment 8 would have removed from our state constitution a discriminatory provision against religious organizations and protected crucial social services that are being delivered by faith-based entities. “Religious providers of vital services to all members of the community will continue to live under the shadow of a potential challenge to their successful partnerships with our state and local governments,” stated Michael Sheedy, Associate Director for Health. By working with our state leaders and elected officials, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops will continue to pursue full legal recognition of the right to life of every unborn child and the defense of human life in all its stages, from conception to natural death. We will support public policies that respect all human life whether unborn, disabled, poor, alien or rejected; on death row or in the family of a victim of crime; well, sick or dying; young or old.