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FL: Parental Notification Requirements Challenged in Court

The Florida Second District Court of Appeals on Thursday overturned a lower court’s decision and granted a 17-year-old’s request for judicial bypass. This was the first test of Florida’s new parental notification measures, signed into law in May, requiring doctors to notify the parents or guardians of minors at least 48 hours before the procedure, reports the Lakeland Ledger. The law has exceptions for medical emergencies, minors who are already married or have children, minors who are victims of abuse, and for cases in which notifying a parent is not in the girl’s best interest or a judge determines the minor is mature enough to make her decision without parental notification.

In this case, the young woman testified that her parents would “adamantly oppose” her abortion, according to the Associated Press, and that she and her boyfriend intended to marry in the next year, but were not ready to become parents financially or otherwise. In the majority opinion, Judges Steven Northcutt and Carolyn Fulmer wrote that she demonstrated sufficient maturity to make her decision without notifying her parents.

Sources:

Associated Press 11/11/05; Kaiser 11/14/05; Lakeland Ledger 11/11/05