The Florida bishops applauded Thursday the passage through both houses of the state legislature of a bill requiring parental consent for minors seeking to procure an abortion. The governor has said he intends to sign the bill.
The Florida House of Representatives passed SB 404 by a 75-43 vote Feb. 20. It had cleared the Senate by a 23-17 vote earlier this month.
“We praise our state’s legislative leaders for advancing this pro-life legislation, especially bill sponsors, Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Representative Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach), who took on the difficult task of guiding it through the committee process and onto the floor of the Senate and House,” the Florida bishops’ conference said Feb. 20.
“We also commend the Democratic lawmakers who courageously crossed party lines and voted to ensure vital protections for parents and their children.”
The bill would require minors to received notarized approval from a parent or guardian or to get consent from a judge after a hearing, before procuring an abortion.
Under the bill, minors seeking an abortion will be required to receive notarized approval from at least one parent, guardian, or from a judge. Doctors who perform abortions without the parental consent of a girl under 18 would face up to five years in prison for a third-degree felony.
The permission requirement would not apply in cases of “medical emergencies” when there is not sufficient time to obtain written permission from a parent.
The bishops noted that “Parental consent is required prior to a minor’s medical treatment in almost every instance, this includes simple medical interventions such as taking an aspirin or getting one’s ears pierced. This legislation is a common-sense measure that holds abortion to the same consent requirements as almost every other medical decision involving a child.”
Ingrid Delgado, associate director for social concerns and respect life for the Florida bishops’ conference, commented that “standards that relate to children’s health care should apply especially in the context of abortion, which critically affects the lives of two children.” CNA