Florida Senate Approves Parental Notification Bill, Will Likely Go to Ballot

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 15, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Senate Approves Parental Notification Bill, Will Likely Go to Ballot

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 15, 2004

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — An amendment to the Florida state constitution that would allow parents to be informed when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion received another favorable vote by the state legislature. It now looks likely that Florida voters will decide the fate of the pro-life measure on the ballot in November.

The state Senate initially approved the amendment on Wednesday, and could put its final stamp of approval on it as early as today.

Should Florida voters back the pro-life amendment, the state legislature would be authorized to pass a law and the Florida Supreme Court could not use the privacy provision of the state constitution to overturn it.

The amendment is a response to Florida Supreme Court decisions that pro-life groups say misused a privacy provision of the state constitution to disallow two different parental involvement laws. The court most recently overturned a parental notification law in 1999.

The Senate vote on HJR 1 comes one month after the state House approved the provision on a 93-25 vote.

"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.

Related web sites:
State House vote on the amendment –
Florida State Legislature – https://www.leg.state.fl.us
Florida Right to Life – https://www.frtl.org