Kelli Stargel again seeks parental consent requirement on abortions for minors
The Florida Institute of Politics at FSU is a priority for Kelli Stargel; not so much for the House.

Florida Legislature
Bill allows court petition process for minors who need to bypass consent.

An effort last year to require parental consent for most minors seeking abortions ultimately stalled in the Florida Senate. But Sen. Kelli Stargel will try to make the case again in 2020.

The Lakeland Republican filed legislation (SB 404) that would prohibit doctors from performing abortions on girls without express permission from a parent or guardian. The bill allows minors to seek an exemption by petitioning the court.

“This protects minor girls who are pregnant and considering an abortion by involving one of their parents or a legal guardian in the decision-making process,” Stargel argued in the Senate last year.

The bill has been a top priority for anti-abortion groups but decried by lawmakers who support abortion rights as a test case to challenge abortion access with a more conservative Supreme Court.

Stargel sponsored similar legislation last year that made it through the Senate Health Policy Committee with a narrow 5-4 vote. But the bill died afterward, never being taken up by the Judiciary Committee.

But companion legislation passed in the Florida House last year, giving supporters hope the measure finds new life this Session.

Opponents of the bill say the legislation merely restores old language in state law that has already been ruled unconstitutional. The 1989 Florida court case In re T.W. contained similar requirements for parental consent.

Part of the court reasoning, though, had to do with a failure to provide girls in dangerous situations with a way around consent. Stargel has said the petition process established in her bill would address that legal shortcoming in the original statute.

And Stargel once again filed related legislation (SB 406) that would exempt the name of girls using the process from being disclosed in public records.

Stargel’s bill this year does not have a House sponsor yet; Rep. Erin Grall, a Vero Beach Republican, filed the companion bill in the 2019 Session.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


4 comments

  • Bryan J Smith

    October 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    This one was a ‘wake up call’ for me … as a man, in my late teens. I wasn’t against parental consent. But being a man, I didn’t think it through, as a woman informed me, and made me realize … I was ignorant and insensitive.

    Why do parents get to make an 18 year decision (beyond the pregnancy) decision for a child?

    Since then, I’ve been against parental consent. I’m for ‘parental notification’ after-the-fact, but not consent. I think parents should be informed after a child has made their choice.

    I know that’s going to be unpopular. I believe the state should *never* cross the family boundary. But this is a complicated issue … and one the state, or parent, can make a teenager responsible for longer than she’s been alive.

    And I still thank that woman from long ago who made me realize why it’s important to step back and see the ‘big picture.’ I’ve tried to apply it to everything in a woman’s right to choose. Even a minor’s, because it affects her well into her adulthood.

    • gary

      October 2, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      And i bet you have a hair bun too! You have been castrated of your manhood by a feminist Bryan, do your family tree a favor and do not procreate. The male population is struggling right now to retain it’s identity and we don’t need you fudging it up!

      You should give Adam Carolla’s book a read… In 50 years we will all be chicks.

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 2, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Please stop the sperm!!!! Lock up the sperm donor and stand back from the woman. This decision is just to complicated without providing choices!!

  • GARY

    October 2, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    As long as a parent is defined as a parent with the 18 year time line. Then the parent still has the responsibility of that child. It is a slippery slope to remove the parent from this process. The left will not be happy until the family unit is completely destroyed.

Comments are closed.


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