Prenatal Notification

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Floridians overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment requiring teens to notify a parent before getting an abortion. The battle will heat up again when the Legislature takes up the issue this spring.

Gov. Jeb Bush supported a constitutional amendment requiring parents to be notified before a teenager can get an abortion. Voters agreed by a 2 to 1 margin.

Gov. Jeb Bush says, “Obviously I’m pleased that it passed because I do think that parents ought to have the ability to be told when their child has to make such a traumatic decision.”

But the fight is not even close to over yet. State lawmakers now have to craft a bill to make parental notification a reality and both sides are already drawing up battle plans.

Anti-abortion activist Carole Griffin says pro-choice forces are already throwing down the gauntlet.

Carole says, “I was really disappointed that the executive director of Planned Parenthood has said they’re going to fight us hard, and that they felt people were just confused by the amendment. How dare they say that?”

But a real sticking point will be how to word a provision that allows a troubled teen to avoid confronting her parents by appealing to a judge. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Larry Spalding says without a real escape route, girls in bad situations will go to unlicensed facilities or try to self-abort.

Larry says, “The only way to minimize that is to make it known to women that you can go through the courts and that people will listen to you.”

Spalding hopes the renewed focus on moral values will extend to the girls in crisis.

Nearly 80 percent of voters who cast ballots for George W. Bush Tuesday night told exit pollsters that moral values was the most important issue to them this election. That was obviously reflected in this amendment and the gay marriage ban approved in Georgia.