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House Slated To Take Up Parental Consent Requirement

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

After Senate approval of the controversial proposal, the House this week will take up a plan that would require parental consent before minors could have abortions.

The parental-consent issue (HB 265 and SB 404) is scheduled to be considered during a Wednesday floor session. The proposal has drawn heavy debate about whether lawmakers should place additional restrictions on abortions and the role of parents in helping teens decide whether to end pregnancies. It passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Feb. 6 in a party-line vote.

It is almost certain to pass the House and be sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who used part of his State of the State address last month to signal support for a consent requirement. Passage could lead to a legal battle, as opponents say the bill would violate constitutional privacy rights.

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 the Supreme Court now has a conservative majority, after the retirements last year of longtime justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince.

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