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The Florida Senate

President Office — Press Release


January 22, 2020

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229

Legislation to Secure Parental Consent for Abortion, Protect Infants Born Alive Advances to the Senate Floor

Legislation enhances penalties for mistreatment of infants born alive during an abortion

Tallahassee —

Senate Bill 404, Abortion, by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), today passed the Senate Committee on Rules. The legislation now advances to the Senate Floor. 

“Today, as we mark the 47th anniversary of the legalization of abortion, I am pleased to see the Senate send such a strong statement of support for protecting innocent human life,” said Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton).

“Parents are responsible for not only the medical care of their children, but also their emotional and spiritual well-being. 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,” continued President Galvano. “Parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision.”

“Additionally, this bill sends the 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,” said President Galvano. “The penalty for refusing to provide medical care to an infant struggling for life should be significant. I am pleased to see the bill amended to enhance this penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony.”

“I commend Senator Stargel for her diligent work in seeing this critical legislation through the committee process,” continued President Galvano. “Senator Stargel’s courageous comments about her own experience have inspired so many young women to choose life for their unborn babies and serve as a motivation to all of us as we fight to protect innocent human life.”

SB 404 Requires Parental Consent for Abortion

SB 404 prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a minor child unless the physician has received a notarized, written consent statement signed by the child’s mother, father, 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 petitions the circuit court where she resides and receives a judicial waiver of parental consent.

The bill also authorizes third degree felony penalties for a physician who recklessly and intentionally performs an abortion on a minor without the required consent as well as any person who provides consent who is not authorized to do so.

SB 404 Enhances Protections for Infants Born Alive

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. A health care practitioner or any employee of a hospital, a physician’s office, or an abortion clinic who has knowledge of a violation of these requirements must report the violation to the Department of Health.  SB 404 increases the penalty for violating these requirements from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.