Fla. House lawmakers vote to pass Parental Consent Bill

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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
February 20, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Beginning July 1, pregnant teens will need their parents permission for an abortion in Florida under legislation headed to the Governor Thursday.

But the battle is far from over.

In 1989, a pregnant 15-year-old, known as TW in court documents, was afraid of emotional and physical abuse if she asked for her parents consent for an abortion.

Her case made it to the state Supreme Court.

It ruled the consent requirement violated her right to privacy.

"This legislation's already been found unconstitutional,” said Rep. Fentrice Driskell.

Now that case is being cited as a reason not pass pass the consent notification over 30 years later.

“Let’s not take these poor frightened girls and make their lives hell,” said Rep. Joe Geller.

But sponsor Rep. Erin Grall said it is a new day in Florida.

“My only goal is that parents are involved with minors seeking to have an abortion. That’s the conversation we’ve been having, We’ve been keeping it on that level. Whether or not it goes to the courts is out of my hands,” said Grall.

Even Governor Ron DeSantis asked for it in his state of the state.

Florida still has a the same privacy guarantee it did in 1989.

What’s different, is a conservative court which recently reversed a three year old ruling on death cases, calling it wrong.

Hours before the vote, the governor acknowledged a challenge was imminent.

"So this I really view this as an outlier and I really do believe it needs to be reconsidered,” said Governor DeSantis.

Advocates worry that if Roe v. Wade is overturned at the federal level, this legislation will end up weakening abortion rights for all women.

“The intention of is to strip away our right to privacy in the state that protects abortion access,” said Laura Hernandez with the Planned Parenthood Foundation.

The open question, will the courts block the bill while it is being challenged?

The Florida House voted to pass the bill just before 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. The final vote was 75-43, in favor.



 
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