Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 404, Abortion, by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) on Tuesday.
The legislation requires parental consent for a doctor to perform an abortion on a minor and enhances protections for babies born alive, according to a news release from the Florida Senate.
“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," said Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton). "The parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision. For those who are in a situation of abuse or where parental consent is not in the child’s best interest, the bill provides a judicial waiver process that still involves the intervention of an adult. This law sends a clear message that here in Florida, we will do everything we can to prevent the abomination of infanticide in our state. When a child miraculously survives this brutal medical procedure, that child’s life must be preserved and treated with great respect and care. The penalty for refusing to provide medical care to an infant struggling for life should be significant. I am grateful to Senator Stargel for her courageous leadership on this important legislation.”
This bill prevents a doctor from performing an abortion on a minor unless the doctor has received a notarized, written consent statement "with specified language" signed by the minor's mother, father or legal guardian, according to the news release. The doctor also needs proof of identification from the parent or legal guardian.
However, the consent requirement doesn't apply if the abortion is done during a medical emergency where there isn't enough time to get consent or if the minor received a judicial waiver of parent consent.
The current law requires any health care practitioner present when a baby is born alive during an attempted abortion to preserve the health and life of the newborn, according to the news release. The baby must be immediately admitted to a hospital. SB 404 increases the penalty for violating these requirements from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
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