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  • Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com

Florida legislature passes pro-life parental consent bill

A Florida bill to ensure parents are involved in their child’s decision to have an abortion has been given fianl approval by the Florida legislature and it has the support of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will sign it into law.

Senate Bill 404 requires a girl under 18 to have at least one parent’s permission before going through with an abortion. The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies and allows a judge to grant permission instead of a parent. It also increases the penalties for not caring for an infant born alive during an abortion.

Today the Florida House of Representatives passed legislation to require consent before a teen girl can get an abortion. The legislation, which was approved in the Senate earlier this month, helps teen girls , their parents, and saves unborn children.

Sponsor state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, who struggled through a teenage pregnancy herself, said the bill will protect young girls and strengthen families.

“I think this is strengthening the family and making sure that when you have those difficult situations that there is a conversation. A discussion,” she said.

But pro-abortion lawmakers claim underage girls should be able to get abortion without their parents’ knowledge or consent, and, as The Floridian reports, pro-abortion groups plan to file a lawsuit if it passes.

“I don’t think the parent should have the veto power of a child that wants to have an abortion,” said state Sen. Gary Farmer, a Democrat. “Unlike notification, in this bill, the parents need to sign off consent to the abortion happening, and I don’t think that any woman should have their right to control their body determined by another person.”

Leading pro-life groups applauded the Florida legislature for passing the bill.

“We thank Senator Stargel and Representative Grall, both members of our National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, for advancing this important legislation to protect young girls facing an unexpected pregnancy,” said SBA List State Policy Director Sue Liebel. “In addition, we are thankful to Governor DeSantis for supporting this commonsense legislation which is supported by a majority of Florida voters. In the Sunshine State, a young girl needs a parent or guardian’s approval before she gets a tattoo, but she can undergo an invasive, often dangerous procedure without any input from mom or dad. Parents ought to have the right to protect and support their young daughters.”

“Standards that relate to children’s health care should apply especially in the context of abortion, which critically affects the lives of two children,” said Ingrid Delgado, Associate Director for Social Concerns/Respect Life for the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Abortion entails an irreversible decision that is life altering for the pregnant child and life ending for the child in the womb.”

John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council issued the following statement:

“This bill is a historic and landmark pro-life victory for many reasons. First, it will save the lives of countless babies born to pregnant minors. Second, it will protect parents rights by requiring them to be part of the conversation when a minor daughter becomes pregnant. Bill prime sponsors, Rep. Erin Grall and Sen. Kelli Stargel showed remarkable leadership and were great advocates for the protection of the unborn and for the health and safety of young pregnant mothers. Abortion is a permanent, irreversible and surgical procedure that is fraught with physical, emotional and psychological consequences. Parents should absolutely be involved with this decision just like every other surgical procedure. The pro-life movement has worked for 30 years to see this historic bill passed and are grateful to the House Speaker Jose Oliva and Senate President Bill Galvano for making it a reality.”

About 1,500 underage girls have abortions in Florida each year, and about 200 request judicial waivers so they do not have to tell their parents, according to the Miami Herald.

Parental consent laws help protect young girls. They can help young victims of sexual abuse who may be forced or coerced into an abortion by their abuser. The laws also help protect vulnerable teens from making a hasty, uninformed decision to abort their unborn babies – something they may later regret. Research shows that these laws help save unborn babies from abortions.

Currently, 37 states require some form of parental involvement before a minor aborts her unborn baby. Recently, however, Illinois, Massachusetts and Rhode Island considered pro-abortion bills to end their parental involvement laws.

Polls show strong support for parental involvement laws. A Gallup poll found 71 percent of Americans favor laws requiring parents’ involvement in a minor’s abortion decision.

Three decades ago, the Florida Supreme Court struck down a similar parental consent law, but pro-life lawmakers believe Stargel’s bill will be upheld, if challenged. The state high court also has a conservative majority now.

Polling in 2019 found that 73 percent of Florida voters – including 60 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Independents, and 58 percent of self-described pro-choice voters – support legislation to require parental consent before a minor girl can get an abortion (only 27 percent oppose). The same poll also found that 76 percent of Florida voters support a law prohibiting late-term abortions in the state.

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