Liberal women’s groups plan Capitol protest against parental consent for abortions

florida capitol
The measure has been moving quickly through the Legislature.

Several groups supporting abortion rights are planning a protest on the Capitol to speak out against a measure requiring minors to get consent from their parents before obtaining an abortion (SB 404).

The National Women’s Liberation group is helping to promote the protest. The group describes itself as “a multiracial feminist group for women who want to fight male supremacy and gain more freedom for women.” The group lists abortion and birth control access among its top priorities.

Planned Parenthood, Women’s March Florida, Indivisible and other liberal group supporters are organizing the protest. The gathering is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.

“The Florida Senate is voting on SB 404, the forced parental consent bill, and we need to act,” National Women’s Liberation wrote in a release.

“We’re doing everything we can to get supporters like you to help stop this bad bill and protect our access to abortion. There are advocates traveling from all over Florida to occupy the Capitol!”

That floor vote for the Senate bill, however, is not scheduled for Tuesday. The Senate will have a chance to evaluate the bill on Thursday, Feb. 6 when that body considers measures on third reading.

In addition to the Capitol protest, activists also plan to gather outside Andrew’s Downtown restaurant Tuesday morning from 11 a.m. until noon. Laura Goodhue, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said the legislation will be harmful if approved.

“Passing this legislation is the first step in a sinister plan to overturn Florida’s unique privacy protections that prevent politicians from interfering in decisions made between a patient and their doctor,” Goodhue argued.

“The future of abortion rights in Florida is at stake with this bill. This is Florida’s Roe v. Wade.”

The push to protest comes as the Senate version of the bill has already cleared all three committees and heads to the Senate floor. GOP Sen. Kelli Stargel is sponsoring that bill. Republican Rep. Erin Grall is sponsoring the House version (HB 265).

“As you’ve probably heard by now, this legislation is just the first step in a much larger and more alarming plan to overturn Florida’s unique privacy protections that prevent politicians from interfering in decisions made between a patient and their doctor,” the release from National Women’s Liberation added.

“Most young people involve at least one parent in their abortion decision, those who don’t often have good reason not to.”

Critics worry some minors could face repercussions — including abuse — if forced to involve their parents in a situation where they feel uncomfortable doing so.

Stargel’s measure does have exceptions, however. Young girls who fear abuse or believe they are capable of making a decision independent of their parents can go to court to seek a waiver for the consent requirement.

But that exception is not sufficient, according to protest organizers.

“Forcing them to go before a judge, who could decide they’re not mature enough to access an abortion but are mature enough to have a child, delays access, which leads to more invasive, expensive and harder to access later-term abortions,” National Women’s Liberation explained.

“It’s clear this bill is a risk to our reproductive health and privacy rights. That’s why we’re coordinating the effort to bring hundreds of supporters like you to the Capitol! You being there could make all the difference in preserving Florida as a bastion of reproductive health care access in the South.”

A similar measure failed during the 2019 Session. Republicans are prioritizing the measure this year.

But the issue has split Democrats as well. Wednesday, Democratic leader Kionne McGhee said his caucus is not currently taking a position for or against the bill. That’s due to some blue dog Democrats — including members from the black community — who say they support the push for parental consent. Other Democrats strongly oppose the measure.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


6 comments

  • Steve Vernon

    January 30, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Parents don’t matter to Democrats. It’s the Government that knows best and who should have all the power to counsel the children.

    • Margaret Ashley

      February 2, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      If you’re not the one having a child, when not able to give it what it needs. Then it’s not your call. Roe verses Wade. Hello already there. For very good reasons. Not your call …….. get real!!!!

      • leanna

        February 4, 2020 at 9:04 am

        When you’re talking about murdering a baby it’s not your call!

      • gary

        February 4, 2020 at 12:22 pm

        We will overturn R vs W in Trumps second term! Guaranteed baby killer! Even the plaintiff in the case now says she was coerced into filing the suit and wishes she had never done it! Yes, she now stands with PRO LIFE people, not the BABY KILLERS!

  • Sonja Emily Fitch

    February 4, 2020 at 7:11 am

    UNTIL THE SPERM DONOR IS NEUTERED STFU ABOUT WOMENS BODIES.

    • gary

      February 4, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      Until woman take responsibility for spreading their legs to every swinging dick, we will legislate their bodies if they can’t!

Comments are closed.


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