House Judiciary Committee advances parental consent for abortion despite opposition from medical community, health care advocates and patients
Tallahassee – Today, a majority on the Florida House Judiciary Committee voted to advance House Bill 1335 requiring young people to obtain parental consent prior to receiving an abortion.
“There is a reason these bills are opposed by the more than 50 state and national organizations, 2,000 people who signed petitions, the medical community and experts on adolescent development,” said Laura Goodhue, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “They know, just as the young women who bravely testified today do, that inserting politicians between young people and their doctors puts at risk youth in even more danger.”
At one point, while answering questions from committee member Rep. Fentrice Driskell, the bill sponsor, Rep. Erin Grall, said, “I don’t have facts.” Here are the facts:
- As Rep. Amy Mercado testified, the number one cause of death for teenage girls is pregnancy. According to the World Health Organization, “Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year-old girls globally.”
- According to the Guttmacher Institute, 90 percent of 14-year-olds and 74 percent of 15-year-olds surveyed said they involved at least one parent or guardian in their abortion decision. Those young people who didn’t cited that they were worried that they may be thrown out or experience other abuse by their guardian. 
- One study found that of the young people who do not seek advice from parents, nearly half—45 percent—experience significant negative consequences when a parent finds out about pregnancy, from punishment to abuse to being forced to leave the home.
- Health care professionals from the American Medical Association, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the American Public Health Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other organizations of health professionals oppose mandatory parental involvement in abortion decision making.
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