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Parental Consent Abortion Law Opposed by FL Judge

After a Florida state parental consent law went into effect yesterday, a Circuit Court judge ruled that the law is unconstitutional because it singles out minor girls’ decisions concerning abortion.

Judge Terry Lewis barred the state from implementing the notification law until the Florida State Supreme Court can determine its constitutionality. The ruling stated that minors have the right to make their own decisions regarding pregnancy without parental consent: “I cannot say that the effect of this legislation is an insignificant intrusion on a minor’s ability to freely choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, as protected by the Florida State Constitution.”

Charlene Carres, a lawyer opposing the law, stated, “Lewis clearly states that the reason this law is bad is because minors do have privacy rights and the state did selectively choose which medical treatment pertaining to pregnancy will require a notice to parents.”

The parental consent law requires physicians to inform parents of minors at least 48 hours before performing an abortion. If they fail to give parents notice, physicians could lose their licenses or receive a $5,000 fine. Currently, 15 states have implemented this law.

Sources:

Nando Times and Reuters - July 26, 1999

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