TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill requiring written parental consent for a doctor to perform an abortion on a minor.
Previously, state law only required guardians to be told if their child was getting an abortion. This new law creates the obligation for a doctor to get permission first, with few exceptions -- including for a medical emergency or when the minor receives a judicial waiver.
The law will block physicians from performing abortions without receiving notarized, written consent statements with specific language. Those statements must be signed by the pregnant minor's mom, dad or legal guardian.
The doctor also needs to see proof of identification.
“The serious and irrevocable decision to end a pregnancy involves undergoing a significant medical procedure that results, in many cases, in lifelong emotional and physical impacts," Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) wrote in an emailed statement. "The parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision.
"For those who are in a situation of abuse or where parental consent is not in the child’s best interest, the bill provides a judicial waiver process that still involves the intervention of an adult."
The law doesn't just deal with parental consent.
Prior state law required any doctors or health care providers who were in the room when an infant was born alive during an attempted abortion to preserve the health and safety of the newborn, including transporting the baby to a hospital.
The newly-signed legislation increases the penalty for violating those rules from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
“This law sends a clear message that here in Florida, we will do everything we can to prevent the abomination of infanticide in our state," Galvano said. "When a child miraculously survives this brutal medical procedure, that child’s life must be preserved and treated with great respect and care.
"The penalty for refusing to provide medical care to an infant struggling for life should be significant...I am grateful to Senator Stargel for her courageous leadership on this important legislation.”
He was referring to Lakeland Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel, who introduced the legislation.
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