by Steven Ertelt
October 10, 2004
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Florida voters believe parents ought to be notified when their teenage daughters are considering an abortion. That’s the message generated by a poll of Florida residents in advance of a statewide ballot proposal asking whether the state constitution should be amended to allow it.
In November, Florida voters will decide whether to approve the constitutional change, which will essentially override two Florida Supreme Court decisions and allow state legislature to craft a parental notification bill without the courts invalidating it.
Statewide, 57 percent of Florida residents backed the parental notification measure while only 27 percent opposed it. Some 16 percent of Floridians are undecided, according to the Mason-Dixon poll.
Support for the pro-life measure ran across party lines and received support from both men and women.
Republicans overwhelmingly backed the notification requirement by a 75 to 16 margin and Democrats also supported it 42 to 39 percent. Independents were 51 percent in favor and only 24% opposed, with one-quarter undecided.
Men and women support the abortion measure by similar margins with men favoring it 58-27 percent and women 56-27 percent.
Abortion advocates, led by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, previously 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.
Similar laws in other states have reduced the number of abortions on teenagers by as much as one-third.
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."