TALLAHASSEE, Fla — There are few, if any, political battles more contentious than the fight over abortion – and Florida lawmakers just weighed in on the war between life and choice.
State senators passed a bill Thursday requiring girls under 18 years old to get their parents’ consent before having an abortion.
SB 404 was approved on the Senate floor by a 23-17 vote, after failing to make it out of committee during the 2019 legislative session. The Miami Herald reports the vote was split along party lines – and Republicans control the Senate.
The consent bill is “not a pro-choice or pro-life bill… This is about whether or not you’re going to have adults involved in difficult decisions with children,” its sponsor, Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, told the Herald.
But pro-life advocates see the bill as a big win for their cause.
“In Florida, a young girl needs a parent or guardian’s approval before she gets a tattoo, but she can undergo an invasive, often dangerous procedure without any input from mom or dad,” Susan B. Anthony List State Policy Director Sue Liebel said, according to WEAR-TV.
The bill’s opponents see it much differently.
“I don’t believe that the state of Florida should be forcing children to have children,” Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, said, according to News4Jax.
Republicans also have the majority in the House, and the bill is expected to come up for a vote there next week. It will meet some fierce opposition, though.
“We are lucky to have a strong right to privacy in Florida’s state constitution that has protected some of these most dangerous bills from actually becoming enacted into law,” Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando said. She used to be a senior director at Planned Parenthood.
Governor Ron Desantis has expressed his support for requiring parental consent, and he urged lawmakers during his State of the State address to pass the bill and put it on his desk.
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