Young Floridians call for bold and unabashed support of abortion rights
Youth advocates for access to abortion without political interference spoke out against bills filed to ban abortion in Florida as early as six weeks as well as the potential for even more restrictions including additional parental involvement in young people’s access to abortion.
“These laws have been shown to put the most at risk youth in even more danger, said State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando). “Most young people confide in a parent or guardian if they’re considering an abortion. For too many who choose not to it’s because they fear physical abuse or abandonment if they do. That can’t be what we want as policymakers, can it?”
Jordan Thomas, President of FSU’s Generation Action Chapter shared that research shows parental notification laws have almost no effect on a young woman’s decision to talk with her parent or guardian about her decision prior to an abortion and have no clear impact on birth rates or abortion rates.
Stephanie Pineiro shared her personal story of going through a judicial bypass. “I even considered ending my life knowing a pregnancy could be the end of my future. That is how desperate I was.” Pineiro went on to obtain her high school diploma and associates degree simultaneously, got scholarships to attend the University of North Florida, graduated college at 20 with two Bachelor of Arts degrees and went on to receive her Masters of Social Work at 23.
The American Medical Association, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the American Public Health Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other health professional organizations all oppose mandatory parental involvement in abortion decision making.
A report by the American Academy of Pediatrics entitled “The Adolescent’s Right to Confidential Care When Considering Abortion”1 found, “existing research shows that most minors 14 to 17 years of age are as competent as adults to provide consent to abortion, are able to understand the risks and benefits of the options, and are able to make voluntary, rational, and independent decisions.2” What’s more, the article found, “judges that preside over these proceedings testify unequivocally that the procedure has no benefits to minors.3”
The report goes on to find, “The pregnant adolescent is required to divulge intimate details of her private life to dozens of strangers (clerks, bailiffs, court reporters, witnesses, and others) to obtain a brief (10-minute) hearing before a judge who has no first-hand knowledge of her case and typically no training in counseling adolescents or developmental issues.4” The article concludes, “Experts agree that the judicial bypass process is an undue burden for minors seeking an abortion.”
“I want young people across Florida to know that you are not alone,” Thomas said. “I hope other young people across the state will join us in speaking out and advocating for our rights to access abortion services without unwelcome and unhelpful interference from politicians.”
- Braverman, P., Adelman, W., Alderman, E., Breuner, C., Levine, D., Marcell, A., & O’Brien, R. (2017). The adolescent’s right to confidential care when considering abortion. Pediatrics, 139(2). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-3861
- See final page for references section – citations 1-9
- See final page for references section – citations 10 – 13
- Greenberger MD, Connor K. Parental notice and consent for abortion: out of step with family law principles and policies. Fam Plann Perspect. 1991;23(1):31–35