NRL News

Parental consent law in Florida advances

by | Jan 16, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

After a vote Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee, a Florida bill to require parental consent for a minor’s abortion is closer than ever to becoming law. The vote came the day after pro-life Gov. Ron DeSantis used his State of the State address to express his support.

“I hope that the Legislature will send me this session the parental consent bill that last year was passed by the House but not by the Senate,” DeSantis said.

“Obviously having [the Governor’s] support is huge,” bill sponsor Sen. Kelli Stargel told Samantha Gross of the Tampa Bay Times. “Last year we had a lot of weighty subjects going back and forth … this year, we’re starting earlier, I filed the bill earlier. All of those things will help this bill go through the finish line this year.”

As NRL News Today reported last month, a companion bill in the House, HB 265, is on a fast track to passage, having been approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee on a 12-5 vote.

Florida already has a parental notice law. But Sen. Stargel, said the parental consent would ensure a “conversation” inside families.

This was personal for Stargel who became pregnant as a teenager and feared telling her mother:

“When I spoke to her, she actually advised (I have) an abortion,” Stargel said. “I didn’t go that direction. We had a discussion about it and when I told her I wanted to have my child she supported me. I think those same things may happen in a situation with other families.”

As we reported last December, one of four pro-abortion Democrats on the key Senate Health Policy Committee was missing. The remaining trio were unable to keep the committee from taking a vote and the bill passed 6-3.

WFSU reported on the debate, including opposition from the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights. “But Megan Petty has a different perspective,” according to Robin Gaffney. “At 16 she had an abortion and says because of it, she can’t have children.

“I was not informed of the risk and the ramifications associated with having an abortion. Parents need to be both informed and involved in this serious and life changing decision,” Petty says.

The legislation “has been publicly endorsed by both Senate President Bill Galvano and House Speaker José Oliva,” according to Gross.

Categories: Legislation