Erin Grall files House version of parental consent bill

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Vero Beach lawmaker successfully passed legislation through House in 2019 Session.

State Rep. Erin Grall will once again champion a parental consent requirement before minors get abortions.

The Vero Beach Republican filed legislation (HB 267) on Tuesday that would set up penalties for doctors performing abortions without one parent’s or guardian’s permission.

Grall sponsored a similar measure in the 2019 Legislative Session, and got it passed in the House. She argued at the time it’s wrong for a girl to be able to undergo a major medical procedure without a parent involved in decision-making.

Florida law today requires parents or guardians to be notified when a minor has an abortion, but girls can elect for an abortion with or without a parent’s consent.

“Parents have a fundamental right in the upbringing of their children,” Grall argued before the House Health Quality Subcommittee earlier this year.

Like last year, companion legislation has been sponsored by state Sen. Kelli Stargel. The bill stalled in the Senate last session, advancing through the Health Policy Committee with a narrow 5-4 vote, but no further.

Critics of the legislation say it ignores a 1989 Florida Supreme Court decision, In re T.W., that threw out a previous parental consent requirement.

But the old law did not have provisions allowing girls in specific, dangerous situations to seek an exemption to the consent requirement.

Grall and Stargel both have included a process in their bills allowing girls to petition the courts to bypass the requirement to obtain a guardian’s permission.

The lawmakers filed related legislation in each chamber also providing a public records exemption stopping public release of the identified of girls who obtain such an exemption.

The bill has been a priority for Grall, an anti-abortion Catholic lawyer. The parental consent bill is the first she filed for the 2020 Legislative Session, followed by the related public records bill.

The legislation last year was a high priority for social conservatives, with Susan B. Anthony List lobbying heavily for a Senate vote.

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].


  • DisplacedCTYankee

    October 3, 2019 at 7:25 am

    Grall: another Catholic, forced-birth lunatic.

    “Religion poisons everything.” — Christopher Hitchens

    • Ashley Larre

      October 3, 2019 at 11:23 am

      Your hatred for life is strong–I’ll pray for you.

      “Abortion and racism are both symptoms of a fundamental human error. The error is thinking that when someone stands in the way of our wants, we can justify getting that person out of our lives. Abortion and racism stem from the same poisonous root, selfishness.”
      —Alveda King

      • Anti-Religion and Proud

        October 3, 2019 at 5:49 pm

        And nothing fails most like a prayer. Quite rich of that quote when racism and religion went hand to hand in the south. Tons of baptists used the “Mark of Cain” as an excuse for segregation. Religion my @$$.

        • Ashley Larre

          October 4, 2019 at 10:33 am

          The quote was from Martin Luther King Jr’s niece, someone who knows quite a bit about racism. According to the CDC, 36% of all African-American pregnancies are aborted.

          I’ll pray for you, too.

          “How can The Dream survive if we murder the children?”


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