House votes to put Florida’s youth at heightened risk with passage of forced parental consent
Contact: Damien Filer / [email protected]
For Immediate Release: April 17, 2019
Eyes of the nation are on Florida as access to abortion is threatened in one of the few remaining conservatively held states where abortion is still accessible
TALLAHASSEE – Today the Florida House of Representatives passed HB 1335 requiring young people to obtain forced parental consent prior to receiving an abortion.
“Leading health organizations and medical professionals oppose these laws for good reason. They make young people less safe and more likely to face a hard decision alone and afraid,” said Laura Goodhue, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
This is yet another restriction on safe and legal access to abortion for Floridians. And if this bill becomes law it will restrict access in one of the few remaining states in the southeast where abortion is still relatively available.
“It is important to recognize that parental consent laws in no way guarantee that a young person will talk to her parents or guardians before she has an abortion,” said Goodhue. “All forced parental consent laws do is put at risk youth at even greater risk.”
In fact, research shows it is the strength of a young woman’s relationship with her parent or guardian – not forced parental consent laws – that determines whether or not she will seek their counsel prior to her decision about having an abortion.
“These forced parental consent laws threaten not only the safety but the health and the dignity of young people and our families,” Goodhue said.
- 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.
- 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.”