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Florida lawmaker proposes parental consent abortion bill

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After the idea passed the House in April but stalled in the Senate, a Republican lawmaker Tuesday began a renewed attempt to require parental consent before minors can have abortions in Florida.

Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, filed a parental-consent bill for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which starts in January.

State law currently requires parents to be notified if their minor daughters are planning to have abortions, but the bill (HB 265) would go further by requiring parental consent.

Under it, physicians could be charged with third-degree felonies if they perform abortions on minors without obtaining parental consent.

Similar to the current parental-notification law, minors could go to court to seek approval to have abortions without consent of their parents.

The Republican-dominated House in April voted 69-44 to approve a parental-consent bill sponsored by Grall, but a Senate version of the bill made it through only one committee.

A parental-consent requirement, if ultimately approved, would likely spark a lawsuit that could wind up before the Florida Supreme Court, which in 1989 struck down a parental-consent law.

But Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed three justices in January to create a solid conservative majority on the court, leading to questions about whether justices would be more likely to approve abortion restrictions than in the past.