The Senate Health Regulation Committee just postponed a vote on SB2466 that overhauls the court procedures in cases where minors want to avoid notifying their parents about an abortion.
The bill sponsor, Republican Andy Gardiner, said the bill was simply designed to give the court directions over what it should consider in granting judicial bypass. The bill doesn't change the actual notification law, he said.
But Democrats weren't sure. And Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, seemed to side with them when he questioned the strictures of the court procedures outlined under the bill. Gardiner, seeing the bill could expire on a 3-3 vote, then moved to postpone the bill. As the Senate moves farther to the right, expect the measure to come back.
Meantime, in the House, the Criminal and Civil Justice Policy Committee approved the bill largely along party lines (with the lone exception of Catholic Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miami Beach).
The fierce debate was crystallized by Rep. Kelli Stargel's personal story about how she had an unplanned pregnancy at age 17. "I was literally in fear," she said. "But I mustered the courage to tell my mother."