Just got back from Catholic Days at the Capitol. Visited with Senator Gruters and Rep. James Buchanan. Both received us very graciously in their offices and we were able to talk to them about the Parental Consent Bill. Gruters is a sponsor of the bill and Buchanan is co-sponsoring it. We heard the debate in the Senate Chamber. Most enlightening. Senator Farmer argued that it would cost $250,000 to raise a child; so if a parent were not to give their consent, they should be made to sign an agreement to underwrite the unborn child’s cost of living. (Can’t make this stuff up!) Senator Burman argued for an amendment to the bill that would allow a psychologist or social worker sign the consent form because a minor might no be living with her parents or might be in foster care. We all understood that this would result in the hiring of a psychologist at every PP clinic to by pass the bill’s enforcement. Senator Stargell stood her ground and argued back about all other surgical procedures needing parental consent and also the cost incurred by a parent for complications. The bill was not voted on that day. The amendment review continues, but it does look good for passage.
Senator Gruters is totally pro life and was agreeable to the repeal of the death penalty; although he didn’t have much hope for it passing in the near future. He denounced, unequivocally, the Assisted Suicide Bill and said that he would not support it. Representative Buchanan’s answers to our questions on the three issues were very much the same; although he did not know the statistics that we were able to give him about the cost of execution compared to a life sentence.
We were divided into teams and given an assigned senator and representative, ones who were as close as they could get to our districts.
We also watched the Florida House in session. Chaotic. Disorganized. All but ignoring the speaker’s directions. A real eye opener of our tax dollars at work The Senate was much more controlled and orderly.
The day started with a 7AM briefing from Ingrid Delgado from the Florida Catholic Bishops Conference apprising us of the status of these three bills and offering possible counterarguments. The day ended with the Red Mass prayed for all the legislators and supreme court judges, many of whom were in attendance.
A worthwhile adventure. I’d encourage anyone who might be interested to hop on the bus next year and do some pro-life leg work.