A year after pro-life Florida Gov. DeSantis signs Florida parental consent bill

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. The following appeared a year ago in NRL News Today. It is very much worth reposting as a reminder of how vitally important it is to involve parents of minors when they are facing this life or death decision.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) today signed SB 404 which requires teenagers under the age of 18 to obtain permission from their parents or legal guardian before having an abortion. 

The measure had solid support in the legislature. The House vote on HB 265 was 75 to 43.  The Senate passed the companion bill (SB 404) on a vote of 23-17.

It was a long and arduous battle stretching back decades.

In 1989, the Florida Supreme Court struck down a law that required parental consent.  Undeterred, pro-lifers have pushed for years to re-establish a parental voice in the abortion decision of their minor daughters.

As NRL News Today reported, Gov. DeSantis, in his Second State of the State address delivered in January, said, “I hope that the Legislature will send me this session the parental consent bill that last year was passed by the House but not by the Senate.”

A similar bill passed in the House last year but died in the Senate

Since he became governor, Gov. DeSanctis has replaced three justices on the state’s highest court— Justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince—who had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. They were replaced by Barbara Lagoa, Robert Luck, and Carlos Muniz.

 “This was a hard fought victory that was years in the making,” Florida Right to Life President Lynda Bell said. “Florida families and minor girls in Florida will now be protected in law. Special thanks to the bill’s sponsors, State Rep. Erin Grall and State Sen. Kelli Stargel. This legislation puts the family back into the conversation concerning their underage girls.” 

She added, “While we (the pro life community) believe it to be unthinkable that a minor child can undergo an elective surgical procedure without a parent’s permission, pro-abortion organizations fought with zeal to stop this common sense legislation. 

“Let’s look at areas where parental permission is required regarding children. An underage child must have permission to get their ears pierced, get a tattoo, take an aspirin, or go on a field trip with their school.  Logically, it is absurd that a child can be ushered off to an abortion clinic with no parental permission! In fact, abortion is the only elective surgical procedure that can be done without a parent’s permission.”

Bell, who is also chairman of the National Right to Life Board of Directors, noted that current polling has shown a clear and overwhelming bipartisan support for “Parental Consent.” Even among those who consider themselves “pro-choice,” 73% of Floridians believe in and support this legislation.

Senate bill sponsor Sen. Kelli Stargel, said her legislation is “not a pro-choice or pro-life bill,” adding, “This is about whether or not you’re going to have adults involved in difficult decisions with children.”

House sponsor, Rep. Erin Grall, rebutted pro-abortion assertions that “it is unfair for male-dominated legislative bodies to impose laws on women and girls,” according to the Palm Beach Post

“No one group of people, gender of people owns this issue,” she said. “There is, consistently, an acknowledgement that what we are talking about is a child. And here, what we are talking about is a child who is carrying a child.”