TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — After rallying and testimony from numerous activists on both sides of the issue, a Senate panel on Monday advanced a proposal that would require minors to receive parental consent before getting abortions.
By a vote of 5-4, the Senate Health Policy Committee approved the bill which still must clear two more committees before it can go to the Senate floor.
State law currently requires parents to be notified if their daughters are having abortions, but the Senate proposal would go further by requiring parental consent.
Senate bill sponsor Kelli Stargel feels minors should have a candid discussion with their parents before choosing to make a decision that cannot be changed.
“We have parental notice. All that does is allow the child to walk into the family and say ‘I have made this decision and I am notifying you.’ Then they are on their way. This is strengthening the family, by allowing the family to have a conversation about the subject matter and come to a conclusion," said Stargel.
However, Democratic Senator Lori Berman feels there is no need for the legislation. She says the measure is nothing more than another attempt to limit a woman’s right to choose.
“Has there been any outcry to have this change in law? Have you heard from medical people or any people who have said this change is needed, when the system is currently working," said Berman.
The bill includes exemptions for situations such as minors who have health emergencies or who already have children. A similar measure in the House is scheduled for its final committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.
The legislation, if ultimately approved, would likely spark a lawsuit that could wind up before a revamped Florida Supreme Court. Pro-life and pro-choice advocates agree the measure could be a test case for the court, where Governor Ron DeSantis recently appointed three new justices, each more conservative than those they replaced.