Florida Gov. DeSantis signs E-Verify, abortion law bills: How each bill changes previous policies

Video: Florida Gov. DeSantis signs E-Verify, abortion law bills: How each bill changes previous policies

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two new bills on Tuesday without fanfare or public statements: one regarding abortion laws and the other the E-Verify program.

Both bills went into effect on Wednesday.

The abortion law bill requires parental consent before minors can have abortions, a long-sought goal of abortion opponents in Florida.

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Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), and other supporters praised the measure and said parents need to be involved when their underage daughters consider having abortions.

“The serious and irrevocable decision to end a pregnancy involves undergoing a significant medical procedure that results, in many cases, in lifelong emotional and physical impacts,” Galvano said in a prepared statement. “The parents of a minor child considering an abortion must be involved in such a substantial and permanent decision.”

But opponents contend the parental-consent requirement will endanger teens who could be subject to retribution or abuse if their parents find out they are pregnant or considering an abortion.

“This law will put already at-risk young people in even greater danger at the worst possible time,” Stephanie Fraim, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, said in a statement. “What’s worse, it could open the door to a reinterpretation of our constitutional right to privacy and the right to a safe and legal abortion in Florida.”

The second bill will require all government employers and some private businesses to use a federal electronic system known as E-Verify to check the immigration status of new workers.

DeSantis, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, signed the worker verification bill into law at his Tallahassee office, joined by the measure’s GOP sponsors, Sen. Tom Lee and Rep. Cord Byrd.

The bill was a major priority for DeSantis during the 2020 legislative session, which ended in March. 

But unlike other priority measures, the governor signed the proposal without any public fanfare, forgoing a news conference and failing to issue a press release announcing Tuesday’s bill action.

“Given the high unemployment rate due to COVID-19, it is more important than ever to ensure that the state’s legal residents benefit from the jobs that become available as Florida continues to reopen in a safe and smart manner,” DeSantis’ spokeswoman Helen Ferré said in an email, when asked about the governor’s approval of the legislation.

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