Parental consent for abortion ready for Senate floor in Florida

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Joey Cousin, a transgender student from Broward County and an opponent of SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, speaks at a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday in Tallahassee. The bill requires girls under the age of 18 to get a parent's consent before having an abortion; the bill was approved Wednesday in its final Senate committee stop. (Aileen Perilla/AP)

The state of Florida is moving ahead with tightening restrictions on abortion, reflecting a trend that has been sweeping across large parts of the nation.

On the 47th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, a bill that would require minors to get their parents’ permission before undergoing an abortion was OK’d by its final Senate committee.

The bill is easily one of the most contentious of the 2020 legislative session.

According to NBC 7 in Panama City, abortion-supporting Democrats on the committee expressed concerns about the judicial waiver option included in the bill that allows minors to bypass the parental consent requirement by going to the courts.

They said they fear it may leave victims of incest, human trafficking and sexual abuse at risk in certain circumstances. Supporters say the concerns are overinflated.

“It works, 21 other states have parental consent and there have never been any problems with judicial waivers. In fact, Florida goes even further by respecting the privacy rights of those minor children to make sure that they’re not subject to public records requests,” said Anthony Verdugo, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition.

The Senate president said he expects the bill to be heard on the Florida Senate floor this week.

The legislation is also ready to be taken up on the House floor.

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