Florida Democrats fail to derail parental consent for abortion

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FILE - This April 23, 2019, file photo shows the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. With billions in federal aid and seats in Congress at stake, some states, including Florida, are dragging their feet in carrying out one of the Census Bureau’s chief recommendations for making sure everyone is counted during the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File) (Phil Sears/AP)

In Florida at least, there’s little doubt left that Democrats are the party of abortion while Republicans stand firmly in defense of the unborn.

In a heated debate on the House floor on Feb. 19, Democrats in the state legislature tried to defeat a bill requiring parental consent for minors seeking abortions. Arguing that the measure would lead to further restrictions on abortion beyond what is contained in the bill, Democrats tried to tack on amendments creating mandatory exceptions for rape, incest and human trafficking.

The bill, SB 404, already passed the Senate and House and will go to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Questioned by Democrats, bill sponsor Rep. Erin Grall denied that she wanted to overturn precedent from the Florida Supreme Court regarding the privacy rights outlined in the state constitution, which have been used to strike down other laws restricting abortions.

“This bill is about making sure parents are involved in these important decisions that their young daughters face,” said Grall, R-Vero Beach.

Current law already requires parents and guardians to be notified when their child seeks an abortion, but it doesn’t require consent.

The Florida Supreme Court struck down a law that required parental consent in 1989, but Grall said the new bill addressed deficiencies the court found in the old law. She pointed to the judicial waiver procedure that didn’t exist under the old law, in which a minor can seek to bypass the parental consent requirement.

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