Florida bill requiring parents to sign off on minor daughters’ abortions advances

The law will strengthen Florida's already existing parental consent requirements, calling for a notarized written statement signed by both the minor and one parent before an abortion can proceed.
Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 7:35 pm EST
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TALLAHASSEE, December 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Legislation to ensure that Florida minors cannot abort their babies without parental consent took another step toward becoming law Tuesday, as the state’s Senate Health Policy Committee voted 6-3 to advance it.

Florida already requires parental notification; Senate Bill 404 forbids abortionists from going through with a minor’s abortion unless they receive a “notarized written statement signed by a minor and either her mother, her father, or her legal guardian” agreeing that “the abortion is in the best interest of the minor.” 

Consent would not be required in cases of “medical emergency” or if a judge grants a waiver. Judicial waivers must be based on finding “clear and convincing evidence” of the minor’s maturity to make the decision or else that a “preponderance of the evidence” indicates that her parents are sexually abusing her.

The bill passed the committee on a party-line vote, the Miami Herald reports. A companion bill to S.B. 404 protecting the anonymity of minors who apply for waivers also advanced.

Republican state senator Kelli Stargel argued that S.B. 404 would encourage critical conversations between families, citing her own experience as a pregnant teen who ultimately rejected abortion. “When I told [my mother] I wanted to have my child, she supported me,” she said.

“You cannot get a tattoo and you cannot get body piercing unless you have the parental consent if you are under the age of 18,” argued Republican state Sen. Debbie Mayfield, the Florida Phoenix added. “This to me is just common sense for parenting to make sure that I know what my child is up to. We’re still obligated to our child up to the age of 18. And how can we be responsible and obligated if we don’t know what is happening in something as serious as having a medical procedure and an abortion?”

Abortion-defenders attacked the bill as imposing a needless burden on the so-called “right to choose.” In fact, while modern Supreme Court precedent falsely asserts that the Constitution contains a right to abortion, the court has also repeatedly recognized a legitimate state interest in protecting both prenatal life and women’s safety. Since Roe v. Wade, the Court has upheld numerous abortion restrictions, including parental notification and consent laws.

Republicans control both chambers of the Florida legislature. If the bill passes, pro-life governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign it into law.

  abortion, debbie mayfield, florida, kelli stargel, parental consent, parental involvement laws, pro-life laws, senate bill 404

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