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Senate Judiciary Committee to take up parental consent

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday will take up a controversial bill that would require parental consent before minors can have abortions, an issue that is ready for a vote in the full House.

The Judiciary Committee has set aside three hours for the meeting, which also is slated to include consideration of three other bills.

The Senate Health Policy Committee approved the measure (SB 404) last month after heavy debate.

Florida law already requires parents to be notified if their daughters plan to have abortions. The law also provides for a judicial waiver process that allows pregnant teenagers to circumvent the requirement.

But this year’s proposals, sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, would go further by requiring parental consent, rather than notification.

The Florida Supreme Court struck down a parental-consent law in 1989. But if the Legislature passes a parental-consent measure during this year’s legislative session, it could become a test for a Supreme Court that has become more conservative after Gov. Ron DeSantis took office last year.