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Religious Groups Split on Abortion

September 19th, 2012 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

There’s nothing new about Christians opposing abortion, but now there’s a coalition of religious leaders in Florida actually trying to save public funding to end pregnancies. As Whitney Ray tells us, a group of Catholics, Unitarians and Jews are uniting against a ballot question that would ban public funding for abortions.

Amendment 6 would put a ban on public funding of abortions in the Florida constitution. It’s already banned in statute. The ballot question would also allow lawmakers to give parents the final word when their teen tries to terminate her pregnancy.

For decades the pro-life, pro-choice debate has divided Christians from non-believers, but at least for this campaign season, the line is blurring.

Wednesday a group of religious leaders held a conference call opposing the ballot question saying it would change a woman’s right to privacy.

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

On the call there was a Catholic Attorney, a Jewish leader, and a reverend of The First Unitarian Church.

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

The group is accusing the Catholic Church of trying to impose its view point on women.

The Florida Catholic Conference has joined a group urging yes votes on Amendment 6. They say it wouldn’t ban abortions, just keep tax dollars from paying for them.

The Coalition’s Executive Director Mike McCarron says support for the amendment goes way beyond the Catholic Church.

“Many people of many faiths and non that also believe that unborn life should be protected,” said McCarron.

Public funding for abortion is already banned in Florida, but some Pro-life advocates fear state workers may use their state health benefits to pay for an abortion. Amendment 6 is just one of 11 ballot questions facing voters this November. Constitutional amendments need 60 percent support to pass.

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