Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Since a privacy section as adopted, Fla. Const. art. I, § 23, contains no textual standard of review, it is important for courts to identify an explicit standard to be applied in order to give proper force and effect to an amendment. The right of privacy is a fundamental right which demands the compelling state interest standard. The test shifts the burden of proof to the state to justify an intrusion on privacy. The burden can be met by demonstrating that the challenged regulation serves a compelling state interest and accomplishes its goal through the use of the least intrusive means.
A pregnant minor petitioned for a waiver of parental consent under a judicial bypass provision in order to obtain an abortion. The trial court appointed counsel for the minor and appellant guardian ad litem for the fetus and conducted a hearing. The trial court found that the judicial bypass provision of Fla. Stat. ch. 390.001(4)(a) was unconstitutional because it failed to make sufficient provision for challenges to its validity, was vague, and made no provision for testimony to controvert that of the minor. In addition, the trial court denied the minor's petition and required her to obtain parental consent. The appellate court declared ch. 390.001(4)(a) entirely unconstitutional, quashed the trial court's order requiring parental consent, and dismissed the petition. Appellant sought review.
Was the judicial bypass provision of Fla. Stat. ch. 390.001(4)(a), which provides judicial alternative to parental consent, constitutional?
The court found that ch. 390.001(4)(a) failed because it intruded upon the privacy of the pregnant minor from conception to birth and was not the least intrusive means of furthering the state interest. In addition, the court found that ch. 390.001(4)(a) failed to provide adequate procedural safeguards because it did not make any exception for emergency or therapeutic abortions.