by Steven Ertelt
September 2, 2004
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The Florida Supreme Court has made the final decision and Florida voters will get the chance in November to vote on a constitutional amendment that will pave the way for parents in the Sunshine State to be told when their teenager daughters are considering an abortion.
The Florida high court rejected the appearance of a summary of the proposal on the ballot, but said the text of the measure itself should appear.
No opinion was released, but the justices were unanimous in their decision.
Abortion advocates, led by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU sued to get the pro-life measure off the ballot entirely. The claim the language is vague and inaccurate by saying that teens’ rights will be restricted rather than teens being protected.
Sheila Hopkins of the Florida Catholic Conference told the Associated Press she was pleased with the decision and said voters will likely approve the measure.
"This will give parents the opportunity to have their voices heard," she said.
Similar laws in other states have reduced the number of abortions on teenagers by as much as one-third.
Last month, a lower court judge refused to remove the language from the November election.
If approved by Florida voters in November, the ballot proposal would allow state legislators to craft a parental notification provision requiring abortion businesses to tell parents when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion.
The amendment is necessary because the Florida high court has twice ruled that parental notification laws passed by the legislature run afoul of the privacy clause in the state’s constitution.
Pro-life groups say that it is essential for parents to be involved in helping their daughters make good decisions when pregnant.
"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."