Florida ending 'bizarre' consent situation

Monday, February 24, 2020
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

pregnant and in schoolThe Sunshine State has taken a fresh step to ensure that parents will not be blindsided by their minor daughter getting an abortion.

In 1989, the Florida Supreme Court struck down the state's parental consent law that required a parent’s written consent before a minor could terminate her preborn child. Lynda Bell of Florida Right to Life tells OneNewsNow the legislature then passed a different bill that was signed into law.

"Current law is simply parental notification, and the way parental notification works [is] a parent can be sent a letter or notified in the mail or notified some way that never really verifies if it is a parent," Bell explains. "It can even happen after a minor girl gets an abortion."

To fix that, both houses of the legislature have passed Senate Bill 404, a new parental consent law that actually has some teeth. Bell says it is a no-nonsense measure that prevents a minor from even taking an aspirin at school without a parent's signature.

As Fox 4 explains, the bill would require physicians to obtain written consent from a parent or legal guardian before performing or inducing the termination of a pregnancy of a minor. The consenting parent or legal guardian would have to give the physician a copy of a government-issued proof of identification, and the parent must certify in a notarized document that they consent to the termination of the pregnancy of the minor.

Under the bill, any doctor who performs an abortion on a minor without consent from a guardian could face up to five years in prison for a third degree felony.

Bell

Exceptions for consent includes cases of medical emergency or if the minor petitions the circuit court where she resides for a judicial waiver.

"A child cannot get her ears pierced. She cannot get a tattoo or go on a field trip without her parent's permission, and I mean signature permission," the pro-lifer points out. "So the fact that she can get a traumatic surgical procedure, which often leaves lifelong ramifications, without a parents consent -- it's been bizarre."

After Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signs it into law, the measure will take effect July 1st. Though Bell expects a lawsuit to ensue, she hopes the current Florida Supreme Court will give deeper consideration to the need for the law. She also points out that protecting a child is not unconstitutional.

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