Parental notice amendment endangers girls

PRESS RELEASE OR LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Contact Linda Miklowitz (cell 850 559-1312) Dear Editor: On November 2, vote No on proposed amendment no. 1 to the Florida Constitution that would repeal part of a minor’s right to privacy to allow a parental notice law. On first impression it sounds good to require notice to a parent when a minor seeks an abortion. But here’s why it’s dangerous for teenage girls and invites government into the most private parts of our lives:

* Surveys show that most girls tell at least one parent. Those who don’t usually have a good reason, like incest, fear of physical abuse, or simply great embarrassment.

* This amendment is designed to prevent abortions. Pregnancy is not healthy for teenagers. They are more likely to have premature deliveries and other medical complications, as their bodies are not yet competent to bear children. The calcium for their developing skeleton is taken by the fetus, causing osteoporosis.

* Minors need privacy. Embarrassment kept honor student Becky Bell from telling her parents. They visited Tallahassee and other state capitals in the mid-90s to tell their story. Becky decided to try to self abort privately. When her parents found her, she had a fever of 105 degrees from blood poisoning after puncturing her uterus. They said her last words to them were, “I’m sorry.”

* Government should not interfere in a family’s private matters where parents must balance their rights with the needs of their children. Parental rights could also allow parents to require their children have abortions.

* Abortion is not like ear piercing. A parent’s signature for consent is required for ear piercing and tattoos for minors as protection of liability for the service provider, who needs binding consent. There is an urgency for abortion, which would best be performed as quickly as possible in the first trimester (13 weeks)

* Going to the courthouse to ask a judge for an exception to the law in what is called “judicial bypass” is intimidating for adults. Requiring a teenager to know what forms to file and appear in court is unrealistic. Repealing part of a minor’s right to privacy to allow a parental notice law is bad policy whether or not you approve of abortion. It gives government too much power, and it endangers our children. Linda MiklowitzPresident, Florida NOWP.O. Box 14922Tallahassee, FL 32317-4922850 656-0012 office, President@flnow.org