In 2018, 70,190 abortions took place in Florida.
96% of abortions performed in Florida in 2018 were on residents of the state.
Chemical abortions in Florida increased by 12% from 2017 to 2018.
8% of abortions in the state were performed on women younger than 20.
A Florida Senate committee voted recently to advance a bill that would require parental consent for anyone under the age of 18 to obtain an abortion. Many states are watching how far this bill advances and if it will inspire similar laws.
The current law in Florida requires that parents or guardians are notified before a minor can get an abortion. In some cases, the minor can get a judicial waiver — for instance if there’s a medical emergency — to bypass the requirement. The new bill, SB 404, requires parental or guardian permission, not just notification, and does not make exceptions for judicial waivers.
Although Democrats tried to stall the bill, it advances with a 6-3 vote.
Sen. Kelli Stargel, the bill’s sponsor, says that the point of the bill is to ensure that families are communicating with each other. Her inspiration for the bill came from her own teen pregnancy experience when she considered abortion before ultimately deciding to carry the baby to term.
Opponents of the bill have said that if passed, it will be the first step in taking away access to abortions for all Florida women, not just those who are underage.
ACLU Lawyer, Kara Gross, thinks that if the bill is passed, it just means more girls will get underground abortions.
“This bill has nothing to do with ensuring a parent has knowledge of their minors’ pregnancy, Florida statutes already require a parent to be notified prior to an abortion. This bill won’t prevent abortions, it will prevent safe and legal abortions.”
Sen. Lauren Book, one of the four Democrats on the committee, said during the vote:
“Abortion still happens, it always will happen. But something really scary happens when you create restrictive laws on abortion access when you put young girls and women in a desperate position. Abortion gets pushed into the shadows and it becomes very, very dangerous.”
Book was one of the three lawmakers who voted against the bill.
The bill has two more hearings to go through before the Senate’s Judiciary and Rules committees before it can be voted on. Senate President Bill Galvano has already said that he supports the bill.
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