Media Contact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 3, 2019
CONTACT:  ACLU of Florida Media Office, media@aclufl.org, (786) 363-2737

April 3, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The House Judiciary Committee today voted to pass HB 1335, which would limit access to abortion care for young women in desperate need of nonjudgmental healthcare by licensed and trained physicians. HB 1335 would require a physician to obtain notarized written consent of a parent or legal guardian before providing a young person with abortion care or else be charged with a third-degree felony, and serve potentially up to five years in prison. By creating such restrictions and criminalizing abortion providers, the bill would obstruct access to reasoned and confidential reproductive care as well as potentially jeopardize the lives of young Floridian women.

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

“Lawmakers should not be in the business of forcing minors in need of abortion care to seek consent from potentially dangerous family members. Bills like HB 1335 prevent young women from obtaining medically appropriate, safe and legal, health care procedures, and place their lives and safety at risk, without increasing healthy family communication.

“The reality is that minors who have trusting relationships with their parents already seek the advice and support of their parent when it comes to reproductive decisions. Those who do not willingly consult a parent have very good reasons not to. Many come from families where such an announcement would only exacerbate an already volatile or dysfunctional family situation. This bill is a misguided governmental intrusion into family relationships, it doesn't create stronger families, and it only jeopardizes the lives of young women. This is why leading health care professionals, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, oppose bills that require parental involvement in abortion decision-making. It is not hard to imagine a minor forced to seek parental consent from a volatile parent choosing to take matters into her own hands and engaging in self-harm or unsafe measures to self-abort.

“We urge all state legislators to heed the advice of leading medical groups and support young women and their access to safe and confidential health care by opposing this harmful bill.”

More on the constitutional concerns of HB 1335: https://www.aclufl.org/sites/default/files/aclu_fl_opposition_testimony_-_hb_sb_1774_parental_consent_health_policy_4.8.19.pdf

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