Parental consent bill teed up in Florida Senate

With the House already moving quickly on the controversial issue, a Senate committee next week will take up a bill that would require minors to get consent from their parents before having abortions.

The Senate Health Policy Committee is scheduled Tuesday to consider the bill (SB 404), filed by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland. The House passed a parental-consent bill during the 2019 session, but the proposal died in the Senate. 

Stargel’s bill and a House version (HB 265) are filed for the 2020 session, which starts in January. The House Health & Human Services Committee has approved the House version, readying it to go to the full House after the 2020 session starts. Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, also said last week he supports a parental-consent requirement.

If ultimately passed, the proposal would ban physicians from performing abortions on minors unless the physicians receive notarized, written parental consent or court orders waiving the parental consent requirement.

Supporters and opponents say the legislation could be a test case for the reconstituted Florida Supreme Court, which struck down a parental-consent law in 1989. With three appointments early this year by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Supreme Court now has a solid conservative majority.

© 2019 The News Service of Florida.