Florida's GOP lawmakers appear eager to fast-track abortion restrictions – giving their voters an election-year victory.
The Florida state Senate Rules Committee in Tallahassee voted 9-7 in favor of a bill Thursday —the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide — to require teenagers under 18 to get a parent's permission before having an abortion.
President Donald Trump's second term could be won or lost in Florida, Politico reported — and the state's abortion bill could have national implications.
Florida already has a law requiring the parents of a minor be notified before an abortion is performed, but bill sponsor GOP state Sen. Kelli Stargel said it does not go far enough.
"I believe that parental notification is basically a child just saying, 'This is what I'm doing,'" Stargel said. "I think that consent requires a little bit more of a conversation between the child and the parent — requires a conversation of the ramifications, the pros and the cons, and they can talk through the discussion."
A parent or guardian would have to sign a notarized document consenting to the abortion and a doctor performing the procedure on a minor without consent would be guilty of a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
"The bill continues a chipping away of women's rights and that is something we shouldn't trample on," Democratic state Sen. Audrey Gibson argued.
There is a provision in the bill that would allow a girl to receive a waiver from a judge to have an abortion without a parent's permission in cases of abuse, incest or when obtaining permission is not in the best interest of the child.
The bill is expected to be heard on the Senate floor next week and voted on the following week. A similar House bill is ready for a vote in that chamber, and GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he supports the legislation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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