Florida Parental Notification Abortion Measure Will be on
by Steven Ertelt
May 3, 2004
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) -- Florida voters in November will
have an opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment that
would change a privacy clause to allow the state legislature to
pass a bill requiring parents to be notified before an abortion
can be performed on their teenage daughter.
The House voted 93-24 for final passage of the bill. The Senate
last month passed the bill 27-13.
"Parents deserve the right to go and vote this November on this
issue," said State Rep. Sandra Murman (R), who co-sponsored the
bill with state House Speaker Johnnie Byrd (R). "They need to
know what our children are doing."
The measure had been held up for a couple of weeks because the
Senate and House had been considering two different versions of
the bill. The Senate version allowed a vague exception for judges
to grant abortions without parental notification in very rare
cases of rape or incest. The House, which initially opposed that
provision, accepted the Senate version of the bill.
The constitutional amendment comes as a reaction to two Florida
Supreme Court decisions striking down parental involvement laws.
In 1989, the high court struck down a pro-life measure that
required teens to obtain their parents consent for an abortion.
Then, last fall, the state court ruled that a parental
notification law violated the privacy provision found in the
"The legislature may by general law require notification of a
parent or guardian of a minor prior to the performance of an
abortion on the minor," the amendment reads.
The amendment has the support of pro-life groups such as Florida
Right to Life and the Florida Catholic Conference and is opposed
by the ACLU, NOW and Planned Parenthood.
"Parents need to know when someone performs surgery on their
daughters. Teens have experienced serious complications and death
from legal abortions in Florida. Evidence shows that after
parental involvement laws are put in effect, the teenage
pregnancy rate goes down, the teenage abortion rate goes down,
and the teenage birthrate goes down," said Robin Hoffman,
President of Florida Right to Life.
The pro-life provision could boost turnout of pro-life advocates
and help President Bush in his bid to win the state that decided
the 2000 presidential election.
Related web sites:
State House vote on the amendment -
Florida State Legislature - http://www.leg.state.fl.us
Florida Right to Life - http://www.frtl.org