By Dave Andrusko
Florida moved one step closer Wednesday to replacing its parental notice law with a law that would require parental consent for girls under 18 wishing to abort.
By a vote of 69-44, the House approved HB 1335 after three hours of debate. SB 1774, an identical parallel measure, is being considered in the Senate where it passed one committee last week.
“A parental-consent requirement, if ultimately approved by lawmakers, would likely spark a lawsuit that could wind up before a revamped Florida Supreme Court, which struck down a parental-consent law in 1989,” wrote Christine Jordan Sexton for Florida Politics.
As NRL News Today previously reported, in January, Ron DeSantis, the new pro-life governor of Florida, appointed new three justices to the state Supreme Court.
Barbara Lagoa, Robert Luck, and Carlos Muniz “filled vacancies left by the mandatory retirements at age 70 of Justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince, the seven-member court’s last appointees by a Democratic governor,” according to John Kennedy of the Herald Tribune.
Last week, during a stop in Naples DeSantis told John Davis of WJCT News he hadn’t seen the specifics of the bill, but “I think that that’s good policy. I haven’t seen the particulars of the bill, but I’ve always supported that” [parental involvement].
Sponsored by Rep. Erin Grall of Vero Beach, the bill would require that a minor girl under 18 get written, notarized permission from a parent or a legal guardian to obtain an abortion.
According to a story written by Curt Anderson of the Associate Press
“The reason that a child should seek the consent of their parent is because the parent is in the most unique and beneficial position to advise that child,” Grall said during more than three hours of debate. “Overwhelmingly, parents could offer a perspective, and advice and counsel, that is not available from any other person.”
The measure also provides that a minor could ask a circuit court judge to waive the parental consent provision under certain circumstances, such as when a girl is a child abuse or sexual abuse victim. That is similar to the current parental notification law; in 2017, out of about 1,500 abortions in Florida involving minor girls there were 205 judicial waivers granted, Grall said.
Pro-abortion Democrats criticized the bill. Typical was this from Rep. Tina Polsky, a Boca Raton Democrat: “If she’s old enough to become a mother, she’s old enough to make the decision of the right path for herself.
By contrast Rep. Tommy Gregory, a Sarasota Republican, said, “These are serious decisions we are allowing minor children to make without their parents. And that should not be the law in the state of Florida.”