TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Senate began discussions on Parental Consent legislation Wednesday afternoon.
The bill requires girls under 18 have their parent’s permission before a physician can perform an abortion.
Sponsor Kelli Stargel of Lakeland was herself pregnant at a young age and is still married to the father of the child her mother recommended she abort.
Her hope is to spark conversations between pregnant teens and their parents.
“As a parent and as a child who has gone through a situation. Everybody has a preconceived idea of what the parent is going to say, how they’re going to react, what’s going to happen. And I think we have presented the opportunity to come together, have a conversation, weighing out the pros and cons, what it means to go forward with the pregnancy, what it means to not go forward with a pregnancy. And I think those conversations need to be had within the family. The parent needs to be more active than just notified but be part of the conversation with the power to give consent,” said Stargel.
Thirty-nine amendments, proposed primarily by Democrats, were considered.
One amendment would have allowed a judge to waive parental consent for cases of rape and human trafficking victims, but it was struck down.
But Stargel argued parents should know if their children are victims of sex crimes.
“Because if my daughter has been sexually trafficked, and I may be totally oblivious to that, and she goes into the court and says I’ve been human trafficked I don’t want there to be a low standard not to tell me. I as the parent need to know that information as hard as it is to hear,” said Stargel.
No vote is likely until next week.
Unclear is whether and Senate Democrats will support the legislation.
A number of African American Democrats in the House have said they will vote yes when the bill hits the House Floor, which likely won’t be until after it passes the Senate.