Florida Senate committee passes measure that would require parental consent for abortions

Florida Senate committee passes measure that would require parental consent for abortions

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A State Senate committee approved a controversial proposal Tuesday that would require minors to receive consent from their parents before having abortions.

The Senate Health Policy Committee waded back into the abortion debate, voting six to three along party lines to approve the measure that would ban doctors from performing abortions on minors unless they receive notarized, written parental consent or a court order that waives the parental consent requirement.

Under current Florida law, parents are only required to be notified if their daughters are planning to have abortions.

State Senator Debbie Mayfield, a Republican from Vero Beach, supports the legislation.

"We are still obligated to our child, up to the age of 18. That is their legal age. How can we be responsible and obligated if we don't know what is happening in something as serious as having a medical procedure and an abortion?" she questioned.

Bill opponents say the measure will do more harm than good for some teenage girls who don't have healthy family dynamics. Florida State University medical student Lydia Tortorici feels kids who want abortions will find a way.

"You are going to end up seeing a rash of teens and adolescents trying to perform their own abortions, or going about it in an unsafe manner, because they are often times going to do it regardless," she argued.

State Senator Lauren Book, a Democrat from Plantation, added, "I'm not sure that it looks for all girls, girls in foster care, young girls who have been sexually abused and young girls who simply don't have the familial structure with their parents around to help them navigate a system."

The bill would allow exemptions for teens who are already parents or have medical emergencies.

The Senate bill has two more committee stops before it can be taken up by the full chamber.

A similar proposal is ready for a full floor vote in the House of Representatives when lawmakers convene in January for the 2020 legislative session.

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