State advocates respond to new barrier for abortion access
with website offering resources, support to young people
Gov. DeSantis today signed into law a bill passed in March by the Florida Legislature requiring notarized parental permission before a Florida teen can access abortion care. Anti-abortion legislators ignored the fact that the majority of young Floridians already involve a parent in their abortion decision-making; and that those who cannot or choose not to involve a parent do so for reasons rooted in their own safety and well-being.
For many communities there are still incredible barriers to not only getting abortion care, but barriers to staying safe and healthy overall. The new requirement becomes law in the midst of a national uprising against police violence, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis which disproportionately affects Black communities.
“A young Floridian seeking an abortion needs equity, compassionate support and access to health care, information, and services,” said Samantha Daley, Reproductive Justice Organizer at Power U Center For Social Change. “Parental involvement laws disproportionately impact young people at the margins, including Black youth, youth of color, young people experiencing houselessness, LGBTQ youth, immigrant youth, and young people in the foster care system, because these populations already face larger systematic barriers to accessing abortion and the legal system in general.”
Florida state law requires that young people have the right to go before a judge and receive permission from the judge to have an abortion without their parent’s permission, which is called a judicial bypass. The Floridians for Reproductive Freedom coalition have launched a website explaining the details and steps to petition for a judicial bypass for every county in the state at TeenAbortionFlorida.com.
“Young people need to have access to health care, information, and resources when they are faced with an important life decision and we are hoping TeenAbortionFlorida.com will help,” said Stephanie Pineiro, Executive Director of the Florida Access Network. “Still, instead of laws that hurt us, the Florida Legislature should be implementing solutions that work for every young person, family, and community.”
The Floridians for Reproductive Freedom coalition of more than 70 organizations educates about the importance of, and advocates for, convenient, affordable and safe access to the full range of reproductive health care – from abortion to birth control to evidence-based, comprehensive sex education.