TALLAHASSEE, FL - The Rules Committee today voted to pass Senate Bill 404, which requires minors to obtain parental consent in order to access abortion care. SB 404 forces young people to obtain notarized written consent from a parent or legal guardian or receive a judicial waiver from a court in order to end their pregnancy even though Florida law already requires parental notification.
This is the last committee hearing before the bill can move to a Senate floor vote.
Kara Gross, legislative director, ACLU of Florida responded to today’s vote saying:
“Today, on the 47th anniversary of the passage of Roe v. Wade, Florida politicians voted to strip young people of their constitutionally protected right to end an unintended pregnancy. Politicians have no business preventing young people from obtaining safe and legal medical care.
“If the legislature ultimately passes this dangerous bill, it will violate Floridians’ constitutional right to privacy and endanger young Floridians, particularly at-risk youth. This law is not only unconstitutional, it is completely unnecessary. For the past 15 years, Florida law has explicitly required parental notification prior to a minor ending an unintended pregnancy.
“Mandating a parent’s consent to end a pregnancy or forcing minors to plead their case to a judge creates unnecessary and unduly burdensome obstacles that will ultimately force children to have children against their will. This bill will decrease the likelihood that minors who are pregnant will confide in their parents or guardians, resulting in them seeking unsafe methods to end their pregnancies and ultimately jeopardize their lives.
“The difference between the current law requiring parental notification and this new dangerous bill requiring parental consent is that if the judge denies relief in the former, the minor must notify their parents of their pregnancy. If the judge denies the latter, the minor is forced to have a child against their will.
“‘Parental Consent’ bills sound innocuous. That’s on purpose. If they were called ‘Forcing Minors to Have Children Against Their Will,’ they’d be less likely to pass. A child should not be forced to have a child against their will, yet this bill will do exactly that.
"Florida legislators need to stop trying to ban safe and legal abortion in Florida.”