The Republican-controlled Florida legislature on Friday garnered the three-fifths majority necessary to place a proposed constitutional amendment restricting abortion access for young women on the ballot this November. In what the Orlando Sentinel calls a "politically charged measure," the amendment would require that female minors under the age of 18 seek parental consent before obtaining an abortion.
The measure, a top priority for the state's Republican Party and for Governor Jeb Bush, was pushed through at 11 p.m. on the last day of the congressional session. Its placement on the ballot in November could help persuade hard-line conservatives to get themselves to the polls on election day and in turn cast a vote for President Bush, according to the Sentinel. The Florida Senate passed the measure with a judicial waver, ensuring that a judge can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, particularly in the event of rape or incest. The Florida House opposed such exceptions.
This is the third time Florida's legislature has attempted to restrict abortion access for minors. In 1989, and again in 2003, the Florida Supreme Court found laws requiring parental notification unlawful. Requiring a young woman to inform her parents of her reproductive choice, according to the ruling of the justices, "imposes a direct and significant intrusion on a pregnant minor's right to privacy," according to Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report. The ruling continued, saying that the Florida constitution gives citizens "the right to be let alone and free from government intrusion," Kaiser reports.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .