Florida Parental Notification Law on Abortion OK, Judge Says

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Parental Notification Law on Abortion OK, Judge Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 8, 2005

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge on Thursday said he would not agree to a request by abortion advocates to stop enforcement of a law that allows parents to know when their minor teenage daughters are considering an abortion. The state legislature approved the measure after Florida voters overwhelmingly backed it.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Stafford said abortion proponents failed to demonstrate that they had a good chance of winning their case against the law. As a result, he would not agree to a preliminary injunction.

Janet Crepps, an attorney for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm, told the Associated Press, "We’ll live to fight another day."

She did not indicate if an appeal is planned.

Meanwhile, Christopher Kise, an attorney for the state, told AP, he was delighted "the expressed public policy of the state of Florida continues to be the law."

Under the measure, abortion practitioners are obligated to tell parents of a girl 17 or under that she is considering an abortion and to do so 48 hours before performing it. They must meet with the parents or tell them by phone or otherwise send a notice via certified mail 72 hours in advance.

In a medical emergency, the law can be bypassed with a judicial waiver.

Similar laws in other states have significantly reduced the number of abortions on teenagers.

Crepps’ group and Planned Parenthood filed suit against the law and Planned Parenthood claims the statute isn’t sufficient to protect teens in such situations.

The abortion advocates filed the lawsuit in U.S. District court in Tallahassee and also challenged part of the bill that they say would prevent college students and other non-residents from obtaining abortions.

The Florida state legislature approved a parental notification law after Florida voters backed a ballot initiative calling for one by a 65 to 35 percent margin. Voters signed off on the constitutional amendment after Florida courts used the privacy provision in the state constitution to rule previous partial notification laws invalid.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its next term that starts in October, will hear an appeal defending a New Hampshire parental involvement statute. The high court has previously found such laws constitutional.

Related web sites:
Florida State Legislature – https://www.leg.state.fl.us
Florida Right to Life – https://www.frtl.org