July 7th 2020
Abortion proponents are working hard to circumvent a new Florida law that requires parental consent before underage girls obtain abortions. Pro-abortion group Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, an affiliate of Progress Florida, has recently published a new website that helps young girls get secret abortions without parental knowledge.
Under the newly signed Florida law, minors are unable to have abortions unless the physician has received a notarized written consent statement containing specific language signed by the minor's parent or legal guardian with 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," said Florida Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton). "The parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision.
The law makes exceptions only for those minors who are unable to obtain consent, specifically those who are in abusive homes and those for whom parental consent is not in their best interest. Those minors are able to utilize the judicial waiver process, and it is that process that Floridians for Reproductive Freedom will be using to help minors circumvent the law.
The group admits on its new website that it intends to help minors obtain abortions, even in instances where it would not endanger their safety to obtain parental consent: "Most young people talk to their parents when they need an abortion - but some can't, for their own safety; and others simply don't want to disappoint their parents. If you can't get your parent's permission or are unable to ask your parents, you can get an abortion with no parent involved if you go to court and are granted a ‘judicial bypass.'"
State Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) who sponsored the law, said she hopes her law will give minors the opportunity to engage their parents in their decision because they may be surprised by how their parents react.
"I think this is strengthening the family and making sure that when you have those difficult situations that there is a conversation. A discussion," she continued.
Stargel said she was once a pregnant teenage girl who was afraid to talk to her parents, but when she did, she found they were far more supportive than she ever could have expected.
"When I told [my mother] I wanted to have my child, she supported me," Stargel said. "Everyone thinks that their parent is going to kill them or kick them out. I was shocked at my mother's response as a child when I went through this."
Progress Florida contends the judicial waiver requirement forces teenagers to go through a court process that may be "intimidating" for them, the group's spokesperson Amy Weintraub said.
"It requires multiple visits to your local courthouse. It means you have to interface with attorneys, court clerks, judges. That's not something most Florida teenagers are used to or would want to try out," she added.
But if minors find the court process intimidating and difficult to navigate on their own, how does Weintraub suppose they would find the abortion process and all of the physical, mental, and emotional components of it?
Mat Staver, chairman of the pro-life, pro-family group Liberty Counsel, said Florida's law offers vital protections for minors.
"Parental consent laws help prevent young girls from making a hasty, uninformed decision to abort their unborn babies," he added. "There is no such thing as a safe abortion, and these laws help protect the lives of girls and unborn children."
As observed by Life News, parental consent laws actually protect young women, despite the dogma from the pro-abortion lobby. Life News writes,
They help young victims of sexual abuse who may be forced or coerced into an abortion by their abuser. The laws also help protect vulnerable teens from making a hasty, uninformed decision to abort their unborn babies - something they may later regret. Research shows that these laws help save unborn babies from abortions.
Florida is among dozens of states that require some sort of parental involvement in abortions for minors. And despite opposition to such laws from the abortion lobby, they have significant support among voters. In a poll conducted by Florida Politics earlier this year, 63 percent of Floridians approved of the measure requiring parental approval. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 71 percent of respondents favored parental-consent laws for minors.
The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops lauded the legislation as a "commonsense measure" that "simply holds abortion to the same consent requirements as most every other medical decision involving a child, including simple interventions such as taking an aspirin or getting ears pierced."
In addition to the parental-consent requirement, Florida's new law increases the penalty for any healthcare practitioner who violates a current law that requires them to preserve the life of a baby born alive during a botched abortion from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, WFLA reports.
"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. 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," said President Galvano.
Raven Clabough acquired her bachelor's and master's degrees in English at the University of Albany in upstate New York. She currently lives in Pennsylvania and has been a writer for The New American since 2010.