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Q: teen age abortions ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Question  
Subject: teen age abortions
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: 6100-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 29 Jan 2004 12:17 PST
Expires: 28 Feb 2004 12:17 PST
Question ID: 301528
in Florida law, is a teenager an emancipated minor when she is
pregnant and seeks an abortion whereby she doesn't need a parent
approval?If so, can I obtain a copy of that law or statute?  Thank
you.
Answer  
Subject: Re: teen age abortions
Answered By: mvguy-ga on 30 Jan 2004 17:07 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
 
Yes, you basically understand the law correctly.  If pregnant, she has
same authority as an adult to contract for medical services insofar as
they relate to her pregnancy.

Here is the relevant law:

Florida Statute 743.065
"Unwed pregnant minor or minor mother; consent to medical services for
minor or minor's child valid.--
"(1)  An unwed pregnant minor may consent to the performance of
medical or surgical care or services relating to her pregnancy by a
hospital or clinic or by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or
chapter 459, and such consent is valid and binding as if she had
achieved her majority.
"(2)  An unwed minor mother may consent to the performance of medical
or surgical care or services for her child by a hospital or clinic or
by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, and such
consent is valid and binding as if she had achieved her majority.
"(3)  Nothing in this act shall affect the provisions of s. 390.0111."

You can find the law on the following page:

The 2003 Florida Statutes
http://www.flsenate.gov/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0743/SEC065.HTM&Title=-%3E2003-%3ECh0743-%3ESection%20065

Technically, the statute doesn't use the term "emancipation," but it
is in the same section of laws as those involving what is normally
called emancipation. That section of law (Chapter 743) lists the
various situations where a minor is deemed to be an adult for the
purposes of various rights. One of those is marriage; a married minor
in Florida has all the legal rights of an adult (except for certain
age-dependent laws, such as those involving alcohol). This particular
law extends those same right to unwed pregnant minors to the extent
they involve "medical or surgical care or services relating to her
pregnancy."

You may also be interested in the Florida Supreme Court decision that
struck down the state's parental notification law. You can find that
decision here:

Counseling Services Inc. vs. State of Florida
http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/flsupct/sc01-843/op-sc01-843.pdf

Note, however, that that law only involved parental notification. The
notification law did not require parental approval for any medical
services affecting the girl's pregnancy to proceed.  That court
decision cites the law listed above several times, making clear that
it its intent is as you understand it.  So even if the parental
notification law had been upheld, pregnant Florida minors would still
have had the legal right to contract for a legal abortion.

You also may be interested in this brochure, which summarizes the law
on emancipation, although it doesn't directly address the question you
asked:

Emancipation
http://www.legalaidocba.org/documents/Emancipation.pdf

I hope you find this information fully answers your question.

Sincerely,

Mvguy-ga






Search strategy:

To find the relevant law, I went to http://www.findlaw.com and
followed the links to find Florida statutes, then I went and found the
chapter that dealt with domestic relations.  I later looked up the
court case mentioned in the first comment below to make certain that
the courts were viewing this law as the law of the land (in Florida,
anyway).

I also used the following search term on Google to find the brochure
referred to above:

term: "emancipated minor" "florida law"
://www.google.com/search?q=%22emancipated+minor%22+%22florida+law%22&sourceid=opera&num=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
6100-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you.  Complete and adequate.

Comments  
Subject: Re: teen age abortions
From: md_phoenix-ga on 29 Jan 2004 23:01 PST
 
I think you will find this document useful. 
http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/flsupct/sc01-843/op-sc01-843.pdf

Correct me if I am wrong, but the way I read above Supreme Court of
Florida ruling on July 10th 2003, is that minor does not need to
notify parent about abortion.

--snip 
Section 390.01115, Florida Statutes (1999), is entitled the Parental Notice of
Abortion Act (the "Parental Notice Act," or the "Act"). Because of concerns
regarding the Act's constitutionality, both the trial and district
courts below barred its implementation. The Act never has been
enforced. We have for review State v. North Florida Women's Health &
Counseling Services, 26 Fla. Law Weekly D419 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001),
wherein the district court declared the Act valid. We have
jurisdiction. See art. V,  3(b)(3), Fla. Const. For reasons explained
below, <b>we quash North Florida and approve the trial court's
decision holding the Act unconstitutional under our controlling
precedent in In re T.W., 551 So. 2d 1186(Fla. 1989). </b>

--- snip 
Under the Parental Notice Act, prior to undergoing an abortion, a minor must
notify a parent of her decision or, alternatively, must convince a
court that she is sufficiently mature to make the decision herself, or
that, if she is immature, the abortion nevertheless is in her best
interests. The trial court analyzed the Act under T.W. and concluded
that, in light of the Legislature's continued disparate treatment of
minors in other statutes governing comparable procedures and
practices, the Act fails to further a compelling State interest.
Because the trial court properly applied the controlling law as set
forth in T.W. and because its findings are supported by competent
substantial evidence, we sustain its ruling.
--snip

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