Florida Bill Would Require Judge To Determine If Teen Is ‘Mature’ Enough For Abortion

Florida Bill Would Require Judge To Determine If Teen Is ‘Mature’ Enough For Abortion

“Consent and notification” means that not only would a minor seeking an abortion have to notify their parent or legal guardian of their decision, but the doctor would have to obtain notarized, written consent before performing the procedure. Doctors who perform an abortion on a minor without parental consent would be charged with a third-degree felony.

Minors who don’t obtain consent from their parents or guardians would then go before a judge, who would then have to consider several factors before deciding whether the minor is “mature” enough to have an abortion:

  • Age
  • Overall intelligence
  • Emotional development and stability
  • Credibility and demeanor as a witness
  • Ability to accept responsibility
  • Ability to assess both the immediate and long-range consequences of the minor’s choices
  • Ability to understand and explain the medical risks of terminating her pregnancy and to apply that understanding to her decision

Every minor is different, as is every judge. The fact that a major decision such as this would be taken out of the hands of the young women involved is abhorrent, no matter their age. How can a judge determine these factors based on a single meeting? It’s ridiculous. And yet, legislators in Florida seem to favor this archaic idea.

“If that judge doesn’t deem you mature enough to have an abortion, that judge is deeming you mature enough to have a child, and that is daunting,” Kim Scott, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida, tells Newsweek. “This bill is only going to disproportionately disenfranchise the young people who are in dangerous situations.”

Many people are calling out the hypocrisy of a judge determining a minor’s “maturity” for abortion but not in having a child.

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) stated that while legislation requiring parental consent for an abortion may intend to help minors, it actually has adverse effects — medically and pyschologically.

“Judicial bypass provisions do not ameliorate the risk and may delay access to safe and appropriate care, making it a later, more complicated procedure.”

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