TALLAHASSEE, FL - On Thursday, The Florida House 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.

SB 404 passed the Senate floor vote last week.

Kara Gross, legislative director, ACLU of Florida responded to the vote saying:

“Florida is now one step closer to obstructing constitutionally protected care for minors. If this bill is signed into law, the State of Florida will be in a position to forc  a young person to have a child against her will.  This is the epitome of government intrusion.

“Certain lawmakers insist on claiming that this bill is about protecting minors and ensuring parental involvement or guidance--but that is not the reality. It is about politicians creating a system where minors will be forced to have children against their will, placed in harm’s way and stripped of their constitutionally protected right to end an unintended pregnancy.

“Leading health care professionals have opposed mandating parental consent for years. They understand that all too often minors may have dysfunctional relationships with their parents, and that by requiring parental consent, this bill would essentially provide veto power to parents who may not have the best interests of their minor child in mind.

“Florida Statutes already strictly require that physicians notify parents of their minor’s intent to end a pregnancy prior to any abortion care services being provided. These laws have been in place for the past 15 years and there has been absolutely no evidence presented by the sponsor that physicians are not following current laws, that parents are not being notified, or that minors are not already involving their parents.

“‘Parental Consent’ bills sound innocuous. That is on purpose. If the bills were called ‘Forcing Minors to Have Children Against Their Will,’ which is actually what they do, they would be less likely to be voted on favorably.

“This bill is unconstitutional, dangerous to minors, and contrary to the will of Floridians.”