Dear Representatives Fetterhoff and Olivia and Senators Simmons and Galvano,
As a resident of Florida House District 26 and Senate District 9, I am writing in opposition to Florida House Bill 265 and Senate Bill 404 that require parental consent for minors 17 and under to terminate a pregnancy.
These proposals to require a notarized signature from a parent for girls 17 and under to have an abortion will affect girls of color with disproportionate adversity, including girls whose parents actually might boot them out from home, thereby making multiple generations homeless.
Parents can easily refuse, and some children don’t know or live near their parents for valid reasons such as parental drug/alcohol use or other issues.
Going from parents merely being notified to requiring their approval is ridiculous and was already struck down by the Florida Supreme Court in 1989.
I encourage you to withdraw support for these bills, to vote against them, and to persuade your colleagues to do the same.
I would also ask, in the interest of Floridians, to focus on accepting a federal expansion of Medicaid for Floridians and once again to allow retroactive eligibility for 90 days. Access and funding of healthcare is undeniably pro-life, and we have hundreds of thousands of adult Floridians who cannot qualify for Medicaid nor an Affordable Care Act subsidy.
Other state governors and legislatures are expanding Medicaid even in deeply Republican states. Florida is one of only 14 states who are still refusing the expansion, which is already part of U.S. public law and is over 90% federally funded if we simply agree to accept it. The tide of public opinion even among constituents opposed to Obamacare is turning on this issue. It is time that we make healthcare affordable and available to all Floridians living in poverty.
Richard Thripp, Ph.D.
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress (FL-06)
Adjunct Faculty, University of Central Florida
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