Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission Might Take Away Floridians’ Privacy

Last week, Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission voted 30-2 to advance a proposal that would severely limit the constitutional right to privacy for all Floridians. If this doesn’t scare you, it should.

Florida is one of just a few states with an explicit privacy provision in its constitution guaranteeing that every person “has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life.” This privacy amendment was added to the constitution by the people of Florida in the 1980 general election. It was intentionally phrased with broad terms “in order to make the privacy right as strong as possible,” according to the Florida Supreme Court decision, Winfield v. Div. of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in 1985.

Now Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission wants to remove that guarantee.

The weakening of privacy rights is being advanced by opponents of women’s right to choose to have an abortion. They have been eager to gut the privacy provision to ensure that it can no longer be relied upon by the courts to stop governmental intrusions into a woman’s most personal and private decision to continue or terminate a pregnancy.

Details may be found in an article by Howard L. Simon in the Orlando Sentinel at: http://bit.ly/2yaKfjM.

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