The fight to protect women’s right to choose continues as a bill in Florida which would require written consent from a parent or guardian to be obtained by any minor before being allowed to have an abortion. The bill, which is expected to be signed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis, would make Florida the 27th state to require parental consent to perform abortions on minors.
The Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida tweeted on Feb 21, saying that “We need to call our legislators to hold them accountable for passing this unconstitutional bill!”
This law serves as a jarring reminder that the fight for abortion rights has not been won; in fact, this is just one in a sea of state-level laws that seek to reduce or limit the circumstances in which women are able to have abortions.
Since 2011 there have been 483 state-level abortion restrictions passed, as reported by the ACLU in December of 2019, with 59 new restrictions in 2019 alone. This is a drastic increase in legislation, the highest number since the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
Laws of this nature, requiring parental consent or notification, do more harm than good in most cases. In instances of incest or abuse, young women could be forced into dangerous situations to seek the medical attention they need or outright refused the right.
With this Florida bill, the battle continues. So what can you do to help?
First, you can call your representatives and let them know that you, as a voter in their district, want their unwavering support for a woman’s right to choose.
You can also contribute to nonprofit organizations like Planned Parenthood or NARAL, which work to preserve abortion rights through legislation and by providing help for women in need.
Finally, you can vote. Vote at every chance you get. Decisions on abortion happen on a federal level and at the state level, so you should be researching candidates and voting in every election that comes your way.
In the race for the 2020 democratic nomination, you can find where each candidate stands on reproductive rights in this article from Axios.