by Steven Ertelt
January 13, 2005
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The Florida Supreme Court has stopped a motion filed by abortion advocates seeking to overturn the amendment Florida residents approved in November requiring abortion facilities to inform parents when a teenager is considering an abortion.
The Florida high court on Thursday squashed the motion filed jointly by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. They wanted to void the vote on the constitutional amendment that would allow the state legislature to approve a notification law.
Florida voters backed the constitutional amendment in November by a 65-35 margin.
The court, which previously did not issue an opinion in turning back a pre-vote lawsuit both groups filed seeking to take the amendment off the ballot, said it would craft a written ruling at a later date.
The pro-abortion groups argued the amendment should be thrown out because the state’s high court overstepped its authority when it dismissed a lawsuit both groups previously filed saying the language of the amendment was improper.
Larry Spalding, a Tallahassee attorney for the ACLU, told the Associated Press that, if the court refuses to reverse itself, it will lobby the legislature on the issue.
Pro-life groups worry that means they will favor a weak law that will allow virtually any adult to be notified about a teen’s abortion request, rather than only her parents.
The amendment was necessary because the Florida Supreme Court twice before overturned parental notification laws passed by the state legislature. The court claimed they violated a privacy provision in the state constitution.
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.
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.