A coalition of pro-life groups have banded together to start a new campaign to put a ballot measure on the Florida ballot that would allow parents the right to refuse an abortion for their minor daughters. The right comes through a requirement that abortion facilities first obtain parental consent before a minor teen can have an abortion.
The Yes on 6 campaign would urge passage of a constitutional amendment for parental consent. The measure comes on the heels of a 2011 measure the legislature approved allowing the state constitution to be changed so privacy clauses so they can’t be used to block pro-life laws.
According to one news report:
The constitutional change is necessary, backers say, to circumvent a 1989 Florida Supreme Court ruling that said the right of a teenage girl to have an abortion without her parents’ consent is protected by the state constitution’s right to privacy, something that isn’t specifically afforded by the U.S. Constitution.
The Citizens for Protecting Taxpayers and Parental Rights, a political action committee funded by the Florida Catholic Council, Florida Right to Life, Orlando-based Florida Family Action and the diocese of Venice, Fla, said parents have a right to be involved in such a critical decision.
“We believe it is unfair to parents to both hold them responsible, by law, for the child’s health while removing their ability to consent to the decisions that risk the very life of their child,” said Randy Armstrong, a Tampa obstetrician.
Further, Amendment 6 would prohibit abortions from being performed at taxpayers’ expense unless the pregnancy was due to rape or incest or if the woman’s life was in danger.
“This is not a call to deny access to abortions for anyone, but simply to say that a private act should not be at public expense,” Armstrong said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for abortion in Florida.”
The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, the state affiliate of the nation’s biggest abortion business, is already opposing the measure and will likely spend millions of dollars against it.
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In February 2006, a federal judge turned back a request from the Planned Parenthood abortion business to stop enforcement of the parental notification law. Senior U.S. District Judge William Stafford cited the Supreme Court’s decision in a case about a New Hampshire law as saying the court doesn’t think there is a basis for overturning such laws wholesale.
He noted the Supreme Court wrote that states have a right to require parental notification due to their “strong and legitimate interest in the welfare” of minor teens who need parental help in an unplanned pregnancy. “Florida has carefully crafted a parental notification statute that serves a compelling state interest,” Stafford said.
The law took effect on June 30 after Stafford refused to grant Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary injunction while the case progressed.
In 2004, Florida voters backed a constitutional amendment for parental notification, which received the support of 4,466,398 voters or 64.7 percent of the state’s residents. Only 35.3 percent of Florida voters (2,438,778) opposed it.