A Florida teenager may not abort her unborn baby without a parent’s consent, a state appeals court ruled Monday.
Like many states, Florida requires parents to give their consent before their underage daughter has an abortion. However, pro-abortion groups often help teens get around the requirement by asking a judge for permission instead, known as a judicial bypass.
That is what a 16-year-old girl did in the current case, according to the News Service of Florida. The girl told the court that she is mature enough to make the decision to have an abortion on her own, and neither she nor the baby’s father are ready to parent.
However, Escambia County Circuit Judge Jessica Frydrychowicz disagreed and denied the girl’s request. A First District Court of Appeals panel upheld the ruling Monday, the report continues.
“The trial court found, based on the non-adversarial presentation below, [the teen] had not established by clear and convincing evidence that she was sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” the appeals court wrote.
The girl was 10 weeks pregnant when she appeared before the first judge, according to the report. It is not clear how long ago that was or how far along she is in her pregnancy now. Florida law prohibits killing unborn babies in abortions after 15 weeks.
At 10 weeks of pregnancy, unborn babies already have beating hearts and brain waves, fingers and toes. They respond to touch, and their own unique fingerprints already are forming.
On Monday, Judge Scott Makar, who partially dissented from the ruling, described the teenager as “parentless” because she lives with a relative and has a guardian.
“She is pursuing a GED with involvement in a program designed to assist young women who have experienced trauma in their lives by providing educational support and counseling,” Makar wrote. “The minor experienced renewed trauma (the death of a friend) shortly before she decided to seek termination of her pregnancy.”
However, the girl may not understand that aborting her unborn baby may have added to her trauma. Many women later regret aborting their unborn babies and suffer mental and emotional problems for years as a result.
Parental consent laws protect unborn babies and young girls by preventing minors from making hasty and dangerous decisions about their unborn babies’ lives. These laws also protect abuse victims by making it more difficult for a rapist to hide a pregnancy from a young victim’s parents and force her into an abortion.
Former sex trafficking victims have spoken out about the need for parental consent laws to protect young girls. Frequently, sexual predators and traffickers use abortion to cover up their abuse of young girls.
Most states require children under 18 to have a parent’s permission before getting a tattoo, piercing or medical care, but abortion activists want to make an exception for abortion. Many pro-abortion groups now are openly calling for an end to parental consent and parental notification, arguing that young girls have a “right” to an abortion without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
In December, Illinois repealed its parental notification law despite massive public opposition. NBC 5 Chicago reported state residents submitted nearly 50,000 notices of opposition to the legislation, and a 2021 poll found 72 percent of Illinois voters support the parental notification law, including many who identified as pro-choice.
Currently, 36 states currently require parental involvement (consent or notification) before a minor has an abortion. A 2011 Gallup poll found 71 percent of Americans favor laws requiring parents’ involvement in a minor’s abortion decision.