The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that will require parents or a legal guardian to consent to a minor child’s abortion.
The legislation was approved by the State Senate earlier this month and now heads to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who promised to sign it into law during his State of the State address in January.
As the Miami Herald reported, with the governor’s signature, the parental consent law will be reinstated after it was declared unconstitutional 30 years ago.
State Representative Erin Grall (R) sponsored the measure in the State House.
In the Florida Senate, the bill was sponsored by State Sen. Kelli Stargel (R), who was a teen mother herself.
She said the legislation is “not a pro-choice or pro-life bill.”
“This is about whether or not you’re going to have adults involved in difficult decisions with children,” she said, reported the Herald.
Some lawmakers who voted against the bill expressed concern about parents of pregnant minors who are not helpful or a source of fear for their daughters.
Laura Hernandez, with the Planned Parenthood Foundation, added, the intent of the legislation “is to strip away our right to privacy in the state that protects abortion access,” reported WCTV.
But, State Sen. Gayle Harrell (R) also said “children having children” need parental guidance.
“How can a 13-year-old make decisions … they can’t even decide what they are going to wear tomorrow,” she said. “We need parents to be part of that decision.”
The measure also increases the penalty for medical providers and abortionists who do not comply with Florida’s mandate to provide care to infants born alive during a failed abortion.
Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) State Policy Director Sue Liebel called the measure “common sense legislation” that is “supported by a majority of Florida voters.”
In March 2019, the Tarrance Group conducted a poll, sponsored by SBA List, that found 73 percent of Florida voters – including 60 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Independents, and 58 percent of self-described pro-choice voters – supported legislation to require parental consent before a minor girl can get an abortion. Only 27 percent opposed such legislation.
“In the Sunshine State, a young girl needs a parent or guardian’s approval before she gets a tattoo, but she can undergo an invasive, often dangerous procedure without any input from mom or dad,” Liebel said. “Parents ought to have the right to protect and support their young daughters.”