by Steven Ertelt
November 3, 2004
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Florida voters backed a constitutional amendment that brings the state closer to having a parental notification law on abortion. Amendment 1 would let the state legislature approve a bill requiring abortion businesses to notify parents of teenager girls considering an abortion.
The parental notification measure 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.
The proposal will essentially override two Florida Supreme Court decisions that used the privacy clause in the state constitution to declare parental involvement laws unconstitutional.
The state legislature can now craft a parental notification bill in the 2005 legislative session without the courts invalidating it. 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.
Eileen Roberts, the founder of an organization that helps parents whose children have abortion, knows firsthand what it’s like to pick up the pieces of her daughter’s life after a secret abortion.
"If parents are responsible for their daughter’s physical and emotional consequences after the abortion, then they should have the right to know before such a life and death decision is made alone by their minor aged daughter," Roberts explained.
"This law allows parents to put their arms around their daughters and say ‘we love you, we can work this out together,’" Roberts said.
Roberts’ daughter underwent an abortion in 1987 at the age of 14. Her daughter suffered physical and emotional consequences from a botched legal in Virginia. Roberts and her husband were forced to spend $27,000 to provide medical care for her.
"Parents need to know when someone performs surgery on their daughters," adds Robin Hoffman, President of Florida Right to Life.