Florida parental consent law receives support from Senate president

By Dave Andrusko

More good news for a proposed Florida law that would require parental consent before a minor girl under 18 could obtain an abortion.

As NRL News Today reported last week, on Tuesday, the Florida House Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 265. The vote was 12-5. As required by previous Supreme Court decisions, under HB 265, the minor girl would have the option of petitioning a judge for an exception on the grounds that the abortion is in her “best interests.”

“It was the only committee stop for the proposal (HB 265), which means the measure now is available for a full floor vote after the session starts in January,” Christine Sexton of The News Service of Florida reported. Florida currently requires parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion but not parental consent.

Moreover, according to Sexton, “Senate President Bill Galvano on Tuesday said he supports legislation that would require minors to get consent from their parents before obtaining abortions, increasing the chances that the proposal will pass during the 2020 session.

“I have said, ‘yes,’ that’s something that I have an interest in and have looked at,” Galvano told reporters and editors gathered in Tallahassee for an annual Associated Press pre-session event.

During the 2019 legislative session, the Florida House passed a parental-consent bill but the proposal died in the Senate.

“Galvano on Tuesday attributed the bill’s demise, at least in part, to time running short,” Sexton reported. “Galvano predicted that the proposal for the 2020 session (SB 404) will be considered earlier by the Senate Health Policy Committee.”

When the measure passed the House Health and Human Services Committee, Lynda Bell, president of Florida Right to Life, told NRL News Today

“It is bizarre that young girls can have an abortion without their parents consent. In Florida a child can’t get a tattoo or her ears pierced without the parents consent. We must protect our children”

The proposal received editorial support from The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). Referring to the Senate version, the editorial noted, mirroring Mrs. Bell’s observations, “It’s illogical to require parents to provide consent for a doctor to remove a child’s tonsils or set a broken arm, yet to not do so to end a pregnancy,”