With a debate hosted by a social conservative organization looming, GOP Senate candidate George LeMieux is criticizing rival Adam Hasner for supporting a judicial bypass option in Florida’s parental notification before abortion law.

In a recent post on LeMieux’s campaign website, the Senate candidate accuses Hasner of “disguising” his record “when it comes to important issues like the sanctity of life.”

According to the post:

For years, Hasner described himself as a moderate and maintained a moderate reputation. He even cited his efforts to weaken pro-life and school choice legislation as unequivocal proof that he’s a moderate. Now that he’s running in a Republican primary for the US Senate, Hasner’s telling a different story, wearing a new masquerade mask every day.

LeMieux campaign manager Brian Seitchik commented, “You know it is quite an elaborate Masquerade when a politician claims to be a conservative on values issues, but received an ‘F’ from the Christian Coalition, voted to deny school choice to military families, joined with liberals to weaken a pro-life bill, and sided with big labor more than almost every Republican. That’s Adam Hasner. That’s not conservative.”

LeMieux’s camp cites two examples they say exemplify Hasner’s “decidedly non-conservative record on social issues”:

  • Hasner “Received A Failing Grade Of ‘F’ From The Christian Coalition Of Florida For His Voting Record In The Florida State House. (Christian Coalition, 2007 Legislative Scorecard.)”
  • Hasner “Voted For Liberal Representative Dan Gelber’s (D-Miami Beach) Amendment To Undermine A Requirement That Parents Are Notified Before A Minor Child Gets An Abortion. (Vote #717, Amend #6 to HJR 1, 3/16/04.).”

The amendment introduced by Gelber (.pdf) that Hasner voted in favor of added a judicial bypass to a bill that would create a parental notice before abortion law in the state of Florida. The amendment added language that says “a minor who does not wish to notify her parent or guardian is guaranteed the right to an adequate and available judicial bypass.”

Most states with similar laws provide this provision as a way to protect young women from possible harm. They tend to help young women who fear they will be abused or kicked out of their homes if a parent finds out she was seeking an abortion.

In the Christian Coalition “2007 Legislative Scorecard” (.pdf) LeMieux references, Hasner was cited for voting with the group for the Parental Notice of a Minor’s Abortion law. The law sought to restrict access to a judicial bypass for minors.

A similar bill was eventually passed this year. Now-Circuit Court Judge John Stargel introduced the law in 2007. His wife, Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, introduced the bill this past session, which was then signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

The Americans Civil Liberties Union of Florida warned that such legislation will “endanger the health of young women.”

GOP Senate candidates Mike McCallister, Craig Miller, LeMieux and Hasner will all take part in a debate tomorrow hosted by the social conservative Florida Family Policy Council.

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