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Parental Consent For Abortion Passes In Legislature, Now Heading To Governor

people stand in the florid legislature
Steve Cannon
AP Photo

If signed by the governor, minors in Florida would need parental consent to get an abortion. If they don't have a parent, a guardian can step in. So far, 26 states have passed similar laws.

In 1989 the Florida Supreme Court struck down a law requiring parental permission to end a minor's pregnancy. Almost three decades later, a similar parental consent proposal has been passed by the Florida legislature and is on its way to be signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. During his state of the state address, DeSantis said he wanted to see the bill passed. However, as that proposal has made its way through the legislature, lawmakers have questioned its legality.

"Frankly, this will likely end up in a courtroom," said Rep. Javier Fernandez (D-Coral Gables).

When the ruling was made in 89, the justices sitting on the bench had mostly been appointed by Democratic governors. The current majority is made up of Republican appointees.

"The idea that the parent has an involvement with the minor—that's not even questioned in almost any area," DeSantis said.

Florida is one of 37 states that require some form of parental involvement. Currently, Florida physicians must notify parents before aborting a minor's pregnancy.

Florida Planned Parenthood PAC's Lauren Brenzel has shown up to multiple meetings on the bill.

"Unfortunately, it's clear that our legislature thinks that passing forced parental consent is going to be good for their elections," Brenzel said.

Her group is partnering with Planned Parenthood Votes to invest $2.5 million into an election push. The money will be used for online advertisements, volunteer events, and more. The plan is to promote lawmakers who side with Planned Parenthood and oust those who don't.

"We want to make sure that we are electing reproductive health champions to the Florida legislature," Brenzel said.

John Stemberger, with the Florida Family Policy Council, supports parental consent for abortion.

"It's going to help create a conversation between pregnant teenage minors and their parents, which is always going to be a good thing. Even if they choose an abortion clinic that is more reputable," Stemberger said.

Advocates and opponents of the bill are expected to clash if the measure gets heard again in the Florida Supreme Court.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.