State representatives in Florida recently passed House Bill 1335, legislation that would require a pregnant minor to obtain parental consent before she can have an abortion. The bill will strengthen protections for girls under the age of eighteen, as well as their babies, by requiring parents to be notified if the girl is contemplating having an abortion. However, the bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies and situations where there is evidence the minor is being abused by one or both parents.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Erin Grall, said, “The parent[s] needs to be involved in the decision-making of the child,” and according to the Tampa Bay Times, 1,500 minors have abortions in Florida annually. Still, most of the House Democrats expressed opposition to the bill, such as Reps. Evan Jenne and Fentrice Driskell. Reps. Jenne and Driskelll were worried that the bill would take away a young woman’s right to privacy.
But State Rep. Tommy Gregory defended the legislation, saying:
“These are serious decisions we are allowing minor children to make without their parents. And that should not be the law in the state of Florida.”
There was a previous attempt in Florida to pass legislation similar to this one, but, after being challenged by abortion activists, the state Supreme Court struck it down. With more conservative justices on the state high court now, the new legislation has a higher chance of being upheld.
Planned Parenthood, however, is actively lobbying against the parental consent legislation. The Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood affiliates, Laura Goodhue, said that parental consent laws “make young people less safe and more likely to face a hard decision alone and afraid.” Goodhue continued to dismiss the need for parental consent laws to protect minors by stating:
“It is important to recognize that parental consent laws in no way guarantee that a young person will talk to her parents or guardians before she has an abortion. All forced parental consent laws do is put at-risk youth at even greater risk.”
But instead of putting minors at risk, parental consent laws do indeed help them. The laws prevent sexual abusers of young girls from using abortion to cover up their crimes, as abortionists have been known to perform the procedure on girls as young as 13 who were rape victims. Along with protecting young girls from their abusers, parental consent laws would prevent minors from making a hasty, uninformed decision that they may regret later.
Currently there are 37 states that require some form of parental consent before an abortion can be performed on a minor. However, there has been a recent push in states such as Illinois, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to pass radical pro-abortion bills that would revoke laws requiring parental involvement.
These pro-abortion bills do not reflect the views of a majority of Americans, as a Gallup Poll found over 71% of Americans are in favor of laws requiring a parent to be involved with their minor child’s abortion decision.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.