Florida Governor Signs Abortion Notification Law

A bill tightening abortion notification requirements in Florida was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Jeb Bush.

A bill tightening abortion notification requirements in Florida was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Jeb Bush.

The Parental Notification Act of 2005 states that doctors must notify parents of minors under the age of 17 at least 48 hours before an abortion can be performed. Notification must be in person or by phone, or by certified mail if it arrives 72 hours in advance.

The law applies to all minors who are unmarried and childless. Girls seeking an abortion may be granted a notification waiver from a judge, such as in cases where the girl is the victim of child abuse.

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Florida had approved a similar parental notification law in 1999 that was subsequently blocked based on violation of the state’s privacy laws in the constitution. Supporters of the bill hope that the current version will withstand any court challenges.

Pro-life groups applauded the new law. National Priests for Life Director and National Pro-life Religious Council President Father Frank Pavone thanked Governor Bush for his recognition of “the importance of the role of parents in the health decisions of their minor children.”

“This new law respects that role, and will also save the lives of unborn children and protect their parents and grandparents from the lifetime of regret that abortion brings. Thank you, Governor Bush,” said Fr. Pavone.

Parental notification laws have been a topic of debate in several states this year. Opponents say that these laws restrict women’s access to health care and violate their privacy rights.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision to review a case regarding the constitutionality of New Hampshire’s parental notification law. The case is expected to be heard later this year and will determine whether exceptions to protect the mother’s health are required in abortion laws.

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