Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that will require parental consent before minors can have abortions, a long-sought goal of abortion opponents in Florida.
DeSantis did not make a public statement about the bill signing, but Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and other supporters praised the measure and said parents need to be involved when their underage daughters consider having abortions.
“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 prepared statement. “The parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision.”
But opponents contend the parental-consent requirement will endanger teens who could be subject to retribution or abuse if their parents find out they are pregnant or considering an abortion.
“This law will put already at-risk young people in even greater danger at the worst possible time,” Stephanie Fraim, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, said in a statement. “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 bill, which passed during the legislative session that ended in March, will take effect Wednesday.
It comes more than three decades after the Florida Supreme Court in 1989 struck down a similar parental-consent law, finding that it violated a right to privacy in the state Constitution. Critics argued that this year’s version is unconstitutional, but Republican backers have expressed confidence that it will be upheld if challenged.
If a legal battle ensues, a key issue could be that the Florida Supreme Court has been controlled by a solid conservative majority since January 2019. That developed after the retirements of justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince, who ruled in favor of abortion rights during their two decades on the court.
Florida voters in 2004 passed a constitutional amendment that led to a requirement for parents to be notified before minors have abortions, but a consent requirement is more restrictive. The parental-notification law has a process in which minors can go to court to avoid notifying their parents about having abortions — a so-called “judicial bypass” that also is part of the consent measure.
In his statement Tuesday, Galvano said that 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.”
But Planned Parenthood pointed to research that it said showed many clerks of court “could offer little to no information” about the judicial-bypass process when surveyed. Planned Parenthood contends the situation could be worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, which has limited access to courts.
The Republican-dominated Legislature has passed a series of bills over the years aimed at placing more restrictions on abortions. For example, lawmakers in 2015 passed a measure that required a 24-hour waiting period before women could have abortions. That law has been tangled in a legal battle.
–Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida
Under Florida law can minors be party to legal contracts and are parents legally responsible for the welfare of their children? Is this a political issue or a family issue?
And what if that minor was assaulted by her parent and became pregnant as a result? What then? That happens more than people think it does, sadly. We need more measures in place to protect those not of age if they were assaulted by a father, a step-father, an uncle, a brother, a cousin, a friend, and so on, not less. People want to scream masks violate their rights, well guess what, women are still being told what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, by men.
You hit the nail on the head , LetThemEatCake !
I have been saying this since the 80’s ….If Men could get pregnant , abortions would be preformed at Jiffy Lube with a $19.95 coupon for return customers.
Just More Republican Bullshit!
This law may not be the perfect solution, but maybe it will slow down the number of murdering innocent babies.
Just a thought.
The question is whether those who have absolutely no problem taking away the rights of women to control their own bodies. . . . would then “step up” and adopt that child that they insist must be born, no matter the circumstance. Good Luck With That!
Very often, the same people who are absolutely against abortion, are also those who are absolutely against ANY social service to assist the child and family once it is born. They are ofen against free birth control, too. Hypocrites that only want to protect the fetus, NOT the actual child.
Their asinine solution. . . “keep your legs closed ladies”! Tragically, rape and incest happen each and every day! Tragically women whose life would be highly endangered by pregnancy accidentally get pregnant all the time.
OUR BODIES, OUR CHOICE!
“Tragically women whose life would be highly endangered by pregnancy accidentally get pregnant all the time.” High risk person gets accidentally pregnant? Could we also say that person at high risk for lung disease “accidentally” smokes a cigarette?
That wasn’t the point Greta. THIS IS THE POINT:
“Hypocrites that only want to protect the fetus, NOT the actual child.”
Sadly, this is the truth. Christians/Repubs will preach til the day is long about saving a fetus, but give those born babies and their mothers welfare?? “F NO! We don’t give handouts!”
Also, why is accidental pregnancy always a woman’s problem?? It takes TWO to make a baby, but many men never take their share of the responsibility. But they can preach and sign bills all day long about it. HYPOCRITES!
Stephen Smith says
DeSantis must think that signing this bill into law will help him get votes. Even though similar bills have been struck down and this one will most likely also be struck down. Only the lawyers win.