by Kelvey Vander Hart
A bill is advancing in the Florida State House that would require parental consent before a minor could obtain an abortion.
House Bill 1335 passed the House Judiciary Committee on April 3rd and is now being heard before the Health and Human Services Committee. This bill would require doctors to receive notarized written consent and government-issued proof of identification from a parent or legal guardian before their minor child is allowed to obtain an abortion. If a minor wants an abortion without parental consent, they must go to a judge with their case.
Florida currently notifies parents about their minor child’s abortion but does not require parental consent to obtain an abortion. In 2017 alone, 1,472 abortions were performed on minors.
State Representative Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach), the bill’s original sponsor, believes that parents are currently kept in the dark when they need to be involved. She commented:
It is my belief that parental notification does not go far enough. It does not give parents the opportunity to weigh in the decision that child is making…I believe that parents have a fundamental right in the upbringing of their children…This really seeks to put the focus back on the family in such an important decision, a decision that cannot be undone.
The bill is being protested by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. ACLU of Florida put out a media release in response to the bill, stating:
The reality is that minors who have trusting relationships with their parents already seek the advice and support of their parent when it comes to reproductive decisions…Those who do not willingly consult a parent have very good reasons not to.
While pro-abortion lobbying groups protest what they deem a restriction to abortion access, Governor Ron DeSantis has thrown his support behind the legislation. Referring to the measure as “common sense,” he commented:
If you’re a minor and you have to get consent to do almost anything else, to me, that’s very reasonable.
As the bill progresses in the State House, a similar bill is also being heard in the State Health Policy Committee.
Photo credit: Michael Rivera via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0