by Steven Ertelt
August 18, 2004
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Florida judge has denied a request by abortion advocates to take a proposal off the November ballot that would amend the state constitution to require abortion facilities to notify parents before they can perform an abortion on a teenage girl.
Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom rejected the request, filed by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood of Florida. The pro-abortion groups contend the language of the amendment, approved by the Florida state legislature, was inaccurate and misleading.
The Florida Supreme Court has previously rejected two attempts to allow parents to be involved in the abortion decisions of their daughters. The high court cited the state’s privacy clause as prohibiting parents from getting involved.
The amendment will change that privacy provision to allow Florida state lawmakers to approve a parental involvement measure.
"I conclude that the proposed ballot title and summary adequately inform that the amendment expands legislative power and adequately describes the nature and extent of that expansion," Sjostrom wrote in his decision, according to an Associated Press report.
The abortion advocacy groups have already announced they will appeal Sjostrom’s decision.
Diana Kasdan, a New York lawyer representing the groups, told AP, "We stand by our position. This is only the first round."
George Waas, an attorney representing the Secretary of State, said the language in the proposal "is clear as a bell."
"Parents need to know when someone performs surgery on their daughters," says Robin Hoffman, President of Florida Right to Life.
"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," Hoffman explained.
"In Florida, if your daughter is under 18, she cannot get a tattoo, get an aspirin at school or go on a school trip without you knowing it," Hoffman told LifeNews.com. "But your underage daughter can get a surgical abortion without you knowing it."