Gov. DeSantis signs abortion consent for minors law

The law takes effect Wednesday.

Beginning Wednesday, minors in Florida will need to get consent from their parents before obtaining an abortion.

That follows Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ signature Tuesday on one of the most controversial pieces of legislation that made it to the Governor’s desk this year. The measure (SB 404) saw contentious hearings — with 116 successful and unsuccessful amendments — and exposed fissures in the House by both parties over the rights of parents to sign off on their children’s abortions.

Current law requires parents be notified when their minor daughter seeks an abortion. But backers of the parental consent measure say that requirement doesn’t do enough to encourage a conversation between the daughter and her parents.

“The serious and irrevocable decision to end a pregnancy involves undergoing a significant medical procedure that results, in many cases, in lifelong emotional and physical impacts,” Senate President Bill Galvano said in a statement Tuesday. “The parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision.”

Lakeland Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel spearheaded the bill through the upper house this Session, and emphasized that it included language for children to go around their parents with a court order if they reveal an abusive relationship. That provision helped patch the legislative hole that led the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a similar law in 1989.

The legislation also included language raising the penalty on physicians for killing children born alive after a botched abortion from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.

“When a child miraculously survives this brutal medical procedure, that child’s life must be preserved and treated with great respect and care,” Galvano said. “The penalty for refusing to provide medical care to an infant struggling for life should be significant.”

On the House side, Vero Beach Republican Rep. Erin Grall and Jacksonville Democrat and prime-cosponsor Rep. Kim Daniels pushed for the bill for a second year (HB 265). Daniels’ and other self-described “Blue Dog” Democrats led to hesitation from House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee to issue a caucus stance on the legislation.

Now, Daniels faces a primary challenge from Angie Nixon as the Florida Democratic Party signal they want the two-term lawmaker out of office.

The 75-43 House vote also put Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen under electoral pressure as she makes a bid for the Senate after she broke from her party.

Floridians for Reproductive Freedom and Samantha Daley, an organizer with Power U Center for Social Change, issued a statement criticizing DeSantis’ signature.

“A young Floridian seeking an abortion needs equity, compassionate support and access to health care, information, and services,” Daley said. “Parental involvement laws disproportionately impact young people at the margins, including Black youth, youth of color, young people experiencing houselessness, LGBTQ youth, immigrant youth, and young people in the foster care system, because these populations already face larger systematic barriers to accessing abortion and the legal system in general.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • AliceRook

    June 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    This is a terrible move. It’s going to do so much damage to girls that are already in a very stressful, emotional situation. If a girl doesn’t want to have a baby, they shouldn’t be forced to if their parents disapprove. They want to argue that this is a decision that a minor isn’t emotionally mature enough to make on her own, but somehow she’s mature enough to raise a baby. Plus Florida’s social safety nets are crap and designed to discourage people from getting the help they need, so once again we see Conservatives pushing for the forced birth of a fetus, without a strong social safety net to help support the baby they just foisted onto young, stressed, probably firghtened girls. There should be a rule that if a politician pushes legislation because of their religious beliefs, they should not be allowed to hold their position because they can’t do the job without their religious bias taking precedence over passing laws that will benefit all their constituents, not just the ones that hold the same views as them. Kim Daniels is a religious extremist, whose support of this bill is rooted in her religion, just as it is with the Republicans pushing this crap. They shouldn’t be allowed to make laws forcing their beliefs on the public, especially laws that will are invasive and will have longterm repercussions for people.

    • Ashley Larre

      July 1, 2020 at 8:24 am

      Key word here is “minor”, and yes, parents are expected to be responsible for their children up to adulthood. Planned Parenthood and the Roe v Wade ruling have done more to destroy the American family unit than anything else. And for sure, the two have done more to destroy black families more than any other form of institutional racism ever conceived. Of the 44M aborted babies since Roe v Wade, nearly 20M are black. Black babies’ lives matter, and thank God for Rep. Daniels and Rep. Bush. They defy Planned Parenthood Queen Rep. Eskamani’s death-wish for the American family unit.

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