Florida’s Senate Rules Committee approved a bill Wednesday requiring girls under age 18 to obtain a parent’s permission before having an abortion.
The Committee voted 9-7 in favor of the bill, on the 47th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the country.
The state already has a law requiring that parents of a minor be notified before an abortion is performed. However, bill sponsor Republican Senator Kelli Stargel says, “I believe that parental notification is basically a child just saying, ‘This is what I’m doing,’ I think that consent requires a little bit more of a conversation between the child and the parent — requires a conversation of the ramifications, the pros and the cons, and they can talk through the discussion.”
With the new bill, a parent or guardian would have to sign a notarized document consenting to the abortion. In addition, any doctor who performs the procedure on a minor without consent would be found guilty of a third-degree felony, an offense punishable by up to five years in prison.
Democrats say the new law is an attempt to further erode abortion rights.
“The bill continues a chipping away of women’s rights and that is something we shouldn’t trample on,” according to Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson.
There is a provision in the new law that would allow a girl to receive a waiver from a judge in order to have an abortion without a parent’s permission in cases such as abuse, incest, or when obtaining permission is not in the child’s best interest.
According to Republican Senate President Bill Galvano, the bill will be heard on the Senate floor next week and will be voted on the following week. A similar House bill is ready for a vote, with Republican Governor Ron DeSantis saying he supports the legislation.