by Steven Ertelt
November 11, 2005
Lakeland, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Florida appeals court has ruled that a 17 year-old girl can have an abortion there without notifying her parents. The decision overturns a ruling by a local judge who ruled the girl needed to comply with state law allowing parents to know.
Two members of the three judge panel ruled Thursday that the Florida teen can have a waiver allowing her to get around the law because she is sufficiently mature to make her own decision about an abortion.
The judges wrote that the teen was old enough to determine on her own if it was in her best interest to tell her parents.
Circuit Judge Ellen Masters denied the girls’ request for the abortion without telling her parents last month.
The parental notification law in Florida went into effect on June 30 after the state legislature approved the measure. The bill came on the heels of a 65-35 percent vote of Florida residents to change the state constitution to allow for parental notification.
Under the measure, abortion practitioners must make sure parents are informed. However, if the girl considering the abortion doesn’t want her parents to know, a judge can approve a bypass, which is required by the Supreme Court for potential abuse cases.
According to an Associated Press report, the girl in this case will be 18 next month and lives with her parents. She comes from a Catholic family and court papers showed she became pregnant from her steady boyfriend.
Although the girl said she has a good relationship with her parents, she testified that they would "adamantly" oppose her decision to have an abortion and she worried they would kick her out of the house.