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Senate Poised To Take Up Parental Consent

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Courtesy of Gov. DeSantis Office

Moving quickly on the controversial issue, the Senate is expected Wednesday to take up a proposal that would require parental consent before minors could have abortions. 

The Senate has scheduled the measure (SB 404) for consideration during a floor session Wednesday afternoon. The House version (HB 265) also is positioned to go to the House floor, though it has not been scheduled for debate.

Florida already has a requirement for parents to be notified before minors have abortions, but a consent requirement would be more restrictive.

The current law has a process in which minors can go to court to avoid notifying their parents about having abortions --- a so-called “judicial bypass” that also is part of the consent proposal.

The Florida Supreme Court in 1989 struck down a parental-consent law, finding that it violated a right to privacy in the state Constitution. But supporters of this year’s proposal have expressed confidence that it would be upheld, at least in part because of a new conservative majority on the court.

During his State of the State address this month, DeSantis briefly alluded to the parental-consent issue, saying he hopes it will “make its way to my desk during this session.”