Ongoing threats to women’s health and religious freedom in the form of two Florida ballot initiatives have made 2012 a critical election year. The National Council of Jewish Women South Florida Coalition, through its campaign to defeat Amendments 6 and 8, has been mobilizing hundreds of Jewish women across the state to educate voters through forums, events and a strategic ad campaign.
On October 14, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America joined the Hollywood - North Dade Section to talk about the implications of Amendments 6 and 8 for women. Amendment 6 would allow the government to interfere in a woman’s personal health care decisions. Amendment 8 would change the religious freedom clause in the Florida constitution and repeal the state's ban of public funding for religious institutions, also known as the "Blaine Amendment."
“It is more important than ever for woman to get to the polls, so they can defend not only their own health options, but also our right to religious freedom,” said Janet Solitt, NCJW South Florida Coalition chairperson. “People of faith should not be fooled by the false rhetoric of religious freedom purported by advocates who support Amendments 6 and 8.”
NCJW leads a coalition in opposition to Amendments 6 and 8 that includes the League of Women Voters, Catholics for Choice, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, ACLU, Hadassah, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Union for Reform Judaism.
This initiative is funded by the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, a network of Jewish organizations working for justice and equality.
“NCJW’s work, which if successful, would represent major steps forward for equality, fits in exactly with the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable’s mission to elevate social justice to the center of Jewish life,” said Abby Levine, the Roundtable’s director. “Members of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable are working around the country to encourage Jews to push for social justice issues on the ballot this fall.”