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The Forced Parental Consent bill is an attack on Florida’s Roe V. Wade

We oppose HB 265/SB 404 as bad public policy that will further endanger our already at-risk young people. But the truth is, it’s worse than that. Passing this legislation is just the first step in a much larger and more alarming plan to have our constitutional right to privacy re-interpreted to no longer safeguard access to abortion. This page has everything you need to know about the anti-abortion agenda in Florida and how this bill is part of it.

FLORIDA’S ROE V. WADE: SECTION 23

Section 23 of the Florida Constitution was added by the voters in 1980. It states, “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life except as otherwise provided herein.” This section of the constitution goes above and beyond the privacy rights granted by the United States Constitution and has protected Floridians from political interference in private matters including access to abortion ever since. For instance, it was key to a court ruling stopping the 24-hour waiting period in 2016.

Given the attacks on access in neighboring states, Florida could end up being the last place in the southeast where abortion is still accessible. If we can keep our privacy rights intact. Anti-abortion legislators and activists have been trying for years to weaken or eliminate Section 23.

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THE ABORTION BAN AGENDA

Forced parental consent isn’t anything new.

Anti-abortion legislators in Florida have been pushing it as part of their agenda for decades.

1989

The Supreme Court of Florida rules the state’s parental consent law is unconstitutional. The law violates the right to privacy granted by Section 23 of the state constitution.

2012

Florida voters overwhelmingly reject another attempt to weaken the privacy clause. Proposed Amendment 6 on that year’s ballot was an effort to deny public employees access to abortion care and it was soundly defeated by Florida voters (55%-45%), falling 15% short of the required 60% threshold for passage.

2017

John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, is appointed to the Florida Constitution Revision Commission by the Speaker of the Florida House, Richard Corcoran. Stemberger’s group is an anti-LGBT advocacy group and he has a long history of sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks. As a member of the commission, he proposes a ballot amendment exempting abortion from the privacy protections in Section 23. But the amendment fails to make it out of committee.

January, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis takes office and appoints three new conservative justices to the Supreme Court of Florida, setting the ideological tone for the court for years to come.

March, 2019

Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Erin Grall file the Forced Parental Consent bill. The bill passes the House but fails to get out of committees in the Senate after a groundswell of opposition from reproductive rights champions in the legislature, Floridians for Reproductive Freedom and young advocates.

May 19, 2019

On WLRN radio, Sen. Dennis Baxley argued for abortion restrictions using "replacement theory" an argument commonly used by neo-Nazis and alt-right mass shooters. He said, talking about Western Europe, “When you get a birth rate less than 2 percent, that society is disappearing... And it’s being replaced by folks that come behind them and immigrate, don’t wish to assimilate into that society and they do believe in having children. So you see that there are long range impacts to your society when the answer is to exterminate.”

August 17, 2019

At a Christian Family Coalition event, Sen. Dennis Baxley admitted the dark truth behind the reintroduction of a forced parental consent bill in 2020. Baxley said, “we have some new court members, we need another look at what the privacy clause means and is for and I contend on the issue of parents taking responsibility of their children that parental consent is an easy argument for us.” He went on to say that we, “will address where we are with the privacy clause in a new way that could open the door for many other accomplishments that save lives.” Sen. Baxley chose not to sponsor a six-week abortion ban in 2020, a bill he sponsored and pushed strongly in the 2019 session.

October 1, 2019

Sen Kelli Stargel and Rep. Erin Grall file the Forced Parental Consent bill again for the 2020 legislative session.

October 22, 2019

HB 265, the House version of the bill passed its first, and only, committee hearing setting it up to be on the House floor for a final vote the first week of Legislative session in January.

Take Action!

We have to act to make sure our elected representatives know we oppose this bill! Below are ways you can make a difference right now.