Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of Florida signed a bill into law Tuesday that will require a minor girl’s parents to consent to her abortion.
Florida Senate President Bill Galvano (R) announced the governor had signed SB 404, sponsored by Florida Sen. Kelli Stargel (R), into law. The measure not only requires parental consent for a minor’s abortion, but also strengthens protections for infants who survive abortion.
“The serious and irrevocable decision to end a pregnancy involves undergoing a significant medical procedure that results, in many cases, in lifelong emotional and physical impacts,” Galvano said in a statement.
The parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision. For those who are in a situation of abuse or where parental consent is not in the child’s best interest, the bill provides a judicial waiver process that still involves the intervention of an adult.
Additionally, Galvano said the new law “sends a clear message that here in Florida, we will do everything we can to prevent the abomination of infanticide in our state.”
“When a child miraculously survives this brutal medical procedure, that child’s life must be preserved and treated with great respect and care,” he added. “The penalty for refusing to provide medical care to an infant struggling for life should be significant.”
The measure bars a physician from performing an abortion on a minor child without a “notarized, written consent statement with specified language signed by the minor’s mother, father, or legal guardian and the physician has been presented with proof of identification by the parent or legal guardian,” the press release noted.
In the event of a medical emergency to the minor, the parental consent requirement does not apply.
An infant who survives abortion must be “immediately transported and admitted to a hospital,” the press release stated. “SB 404 increases the penalty for violating these requirements from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.”
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida condemned the new law.
Stephanie Fraim, the group’s CEO, said, as reported by Fox 35:
This law will put already at-risk young people in even greater danger at the worst possible time. What’s worse, it could open the door to a reinterpretation of our constitutional right to privacy and the right to a safe and legal abortion in Florida.
The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops hailed the legislation as a “commonsense measure” that “simply holds abortion to the same consent requirements as most every other medical decision involving a child, including simple interventions such as taking an aspirin or getting ears pierced.”
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said Florida’s new parental consent law “underscores the importance that parents, not abortion doctors, have the right to direct the decisions of their minor children.”
“Parental consent laws help prevent young girls from making a hasty, uninformed decision to abort their unborn babies,” he added. “There is no such thing as a safe abortion, and these laws help protect the lives of girls and unborn children.”