TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On Roe V. Wade’s 47th anniversary, Florida Republicans inched closer to new abortion restrictions.
On Wednesday morning, after another party-line vote, the Senate Rules committee advanced a controversial measure requiring minors have parental consent. Current law requires those under 18 only notify their parents of an abortion.
Senate Bill 404 now heads to the full chamber. That’s further along than last year when the legislation passed the House but died in Senate committees.
The bill now joins its House companion waiting to be debated on the chamber floors.
For weeks, the GOP has been using its majority power in both the House and Senate to move the bills through committees, despite a lot of Democratic opposition.
Sponsor Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, called the advancement a win for parental rights in the state.
“Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, you want to be involved in what’s going on with your minor, with your daughter,” she said. “I think this bill will help accomplish that in a more effective way than what we had before.”
Opponents believe the bill’s passage will lead to more unsafe abortions. They’ve vowed to continue fighting.
Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, promised a long debate on chamber floors and warned approval will take a political toll on the GOP in an election year.
“Our commitment is to not stop until the gavel drops,” she said.
Senate President Bill Galvano, a supporter of the measure, expected a floor vote will come in his chamber the next two weeks.