Before the Florida Senate’s final passage of a bill that requires parental notification if a minor is seeking an abortion, state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, defended a provision in the bill that creates tighter restrictions on judicial bypasses to the notification. Hays told the legislature the measure is aimed at adults who are “counseling minors to have abortions.”
Hays, the bill’s sponsor, insisted that minors seeking an abortion are not acting alone. He said, “Every one of these young people is under the guidance of adults.”
“I find [it] totally and completely repulsive,” he said, “that we would allow an adult to take one of these 14-year-old ladies and drive her from Crestview to Fernandina Beach to get a judge to OK an abortion. ”
Hays’ colleagues on both sides of the aisles have pointed out that the accusation is unfounded. His only evidence of this alleged problem is a website from the Coalition for Positive Sexuality.
“Here is an advertisement from a website called ‘The Coalition for Positive Sexuality,’” he began. He then read an excerpt from the website that reads:
If you are thinking about an abortion and live where there is a Parental Consent/Notification law, it’s a good idea to call a clinic in your state (or the Abortion Hotline at 1-800-772-9100) and talk with someone about your options. Usually you can get around telling your parents by going to a clinic in a state without these restrictions or, explaining your situation to a judge (this is called Judicial Bypass).
The website does not offer resources for adults to help them drive minors across cities or states to seek a bypass of the law.
“That’s the kind of counsel that some of these youngsters are getting,” he continued. “We need to do everything we can to stop this sort of thing and make sure we get a good parental notification law on the books.”
The Coalition for Positive Sexuality’s website says the group is a “grassroots, not-for-profit, activist organization. CPS is funded through donations and grants” that provides teens with “candid sex education materials.”
Hays’ bill passed 26-12. Its next stop is Gov. Rick Scott’s desk. Once it becomes law, a young woman will only have access to the “circuit court in which the minor resides” and minors will also have to petition a chief judge of the circuit court “if the court fails to rule within the 3 business days period and an extension has not been requested” — a measure that provides yet another barrier to minors seeking an abortion.