Florida Senate delays vote on controversial abortion bill

Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 5:14 PM EST
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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service

February 4, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- The Florida Senate has delayed a vote on a bill that would require minors get parental consent before having an abortion.

The bill has drawn sharp opposition.

Hundreds came to the Capitol Tuesday to protest.

Some held signs reading, 'Senator Kelli Stargel Shame on You!'

But for Senator Stargel, the bill sponsor, the issue is personal.

“As a girl who had an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager, you always think that you know what your parents are going to say about the whole subject,” said Stargel.

Stargel said that wasn’t the case when she spoke with her mother.

“My mom said you know what, this is going to ruin your life. You need to have an abortion. I thought that through, I talked to the father of our baby, other people and through that conversation came to the conclusion that, that's not what I wanted,” said Stargel.

Stargel’s daughter is now 35, and her parents are still together.

Stargel said the conversations with her family are to thank.

“It worked out better for the entire family unit. That's what's missing I think in this conversation so frequently today and that's what I hope this bill will help to bring together is that conversation,” said Stargel.

While Senator Stargel’s parents helped her decide what to do, protesters said her bill ignores others who don’t come from functional families.

“The majority of young people who do not tell their parents about a decision to have an abortion, research has shown that they do not tell them because they fear abuse neglect or abandonment,” said Lauren Brenzel with the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

The bill does include an option for children who can’t speak with their parents to petition a court to bypass the parental consent requirement.

The legislation is now expected to be debated and voted on in the full Senate Thursday.