Florida Governor Ron DeSantis today signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 404, Abortion, by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland). The legislation requires parental consent for a physician to perform an abortion on a minor and enhances protections for infants born alive.
“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. 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,” said Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton).
“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,” continued President Galvano. “I am grateful to Senator Stargel for her courageous leadership on this important legislation.”
The bill prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a minor unless the physician has received a notarized, written consent statement with specified language signed by the minor’s mother, father, or legal guardian and the physician has been presented with proof of identification by the parent or legal guardian. The consent requirement does not apply if the abortion is performed during a medical emergency when there is insufficient time to obtain consent, or if the minor receives a judicial waiver of parental consent.
Current law requires any health care practitioner present when an infant is born alive during an attempted abortion to preserve the health and life of the newborn baby. The baby must be immediately transported and admitted to a hospital. SB 404 increases the penalty for violating these requirements from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.