Florida Lawmakers Ready to Tackle Abortion Notification Law After Vote
by Steven Ertelt
February 16, 2005
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Florida voters made it clear last November that they favor parental notification for abortions by voting 65 to 35 percent in favor of a ballot proposal to change the state constitution to allow it. Now Florida lawmakers are ready to propose the law.
The two-month legislative session begins on March 8 and pro-life lawmakers are preparing legislation that would put the parental notification law on the books.
Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, a Republican from Cape Coral, will sponsor the bill in the House, and he told the Associated Press that voters have made their wishes clear.
"Now that we have a constitutional mandate, it’s not just like we can ignore it," he said
Sen. Dan Webster, a leading pro-life lawmaker in the Senate, will propose the bill in the Senate.
Larry Spalding, a Tallahassee attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, wants to make sure the measure has a judicial bypass provision allowing teenagers in abusive situations to get a judge to authorize the abortion. He also wants teenagers to be able to go to another county to get a judge’s approval.
However, pro-life groups point out that such provisions have been abused by abortion businesses in other states with similar laws when it’s applied to teens not in an abusive situation. Texas and Michigan legislators are working to shore up such provisions to prevent the law from being abused.
Last month, the Florida Supreme Court stopped a motion filed by abortion advocates seeking to overturn the amendment. https://www.lifenews.com/state839.html
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.