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Parental Consent Abortion Bill Heads To Florida Senate Floor

Florida lawmakers approved a bill on Wednesday requiring teenagers seeking an abortion to obtain the notarized written consent of a parent or guardian, or a waiver from a judge.

The measure also requires doctors to resuscitate a child born alive or face third-degree felony charges and up to five years in jail.

The Florida Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday approved a rewrite of the bill and a title change, expanding the bill to address abortions at large under state law, instead of just the statute on parental notification.

“It’s clear that we’re no longer discussing parental consent. We’ve devolved into the discussion of a bill that is a full-on assault to a woman’s right to choose and a physician’s duty to care for his or her patient,” state Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) told Politico.

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Book, who runs a non-profit to protect children and was sexually abused as a child herself, said the bill’s requirement that courts report cases of abuse to the state Department of Children and Families was “naive” because victims regularly are reluctant to report a family member who is the financial provider for the family.

“It is going to continue to push these girls into something that is extremely dangerous,” Book said. “Abortion will be around, it’s always been around. It’s just going to be more unsafe.”

The rules committee did adopt an amendment from Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson allowing a minor to seek a court waiver in a judge’s chambers or another informal setting, to make the process less intimidating.

Several other Florida Republicans are pushing similar bills restricting access to abortion.

A bill from Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) would prohibit doctors from performing abortions when test results indicate the child would be born with Down syndrome. Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola) has filed a bill that would prohibit abortions after a heartbeat is detected in a fetus, which can be found around six weeks. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is strongly pro-life.

Katherine Huggins

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