Friday, April 20, 2007

Senators From Florida Vote Down Bill to Criminalize Sex with Young Girls Under 14

Senate panel says no to requiring DNA from young pregnant girls
By DAVID ROYSE Associated Press Writer TALLAHASSEE, Florida.

A Senate committee on Thursday voted down a bill that would have required health care providers to notify police whenever they learned a young girl was pregnant, and abortion providers to collect DNA samples.

The measure was defeated 4-3 in the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, even though the sponsor of the bill was the committee's chairwoman, Sen. Ronda Storms.

The bill (SB 2546) initially would have required that any doctor, nurse or other health care provider report to police within 24 hours when they learn, or reasonably should have learned, that a girl under 16 is pregnant. Storms reasoned that any girl under 16 who was pregnant was the victim of a crime, and the state had a legitimate interest in finding out who impregnated her because it would be illegal.

The bill immediately drew criticism from opponents who said it was an invasion of privacy.

Storms, R-Tampa, changed the bill Thursday, lowering from 16 to 14 the age at which the requirement would come into play, saying it was so clearly a crime to have sex with a child under 14 that it would make the bill more palatable to critics.

It apparently didn't
, however, as three Democrats and one Republican on her committee voted against Storms and two other Republicans. Voting against the measure were Democratic Senators Tony Hill of Jacksonville, Nan Rich of Weston and Gwen Margolis of Miami Beach and Republican Evelyn Lynn of Ormond Beach. Joining Storms in favor of the measure were Sen. Carey Baker of Eustis and Sen. Mike Haridopolos of Indialantic.

Abortion rights advocates had said the bill would have discouraged young pregnant girls from going to the doctor because of the fear that a boyfriend might be reported to police.

Some opponents also worried that it specifically erased the confidentiality privilege that normally exists between a doctor and a patient.

Opponents also said the measure essentially would have criminalized sex between two teenagers. That was what led Storms to lower the age to 14 - saying that anytime a child under 14 was having sex, it should be illegal.

In addition to requiring health care providers to notify police when they learn a young girl is pregnant, the measure also would have required abortion providers to collect DNA from the mother and the fetus. The DNA samples would have been given to police to help identify the person who impregnated the girl, and help prosecutors convict him of sexual abuse.

Current law does require health care providers to notify authorities if they learn of child abuse.

The defeat of this bill will serve to protect the perpetrators and NOT the victims, any adult that has sex with a child under 14 deserves to go to jail - shame on the Democratic Senators Tony Hill of Jacksonville, Nan Rich of Weston and Gwen Margolis of Miami Beach and Republican Evelyn Lynn of Ormond Beach who voted down the bill , all concerned citizens should voice their concern.

About the confidentiality factor, that's a hard call but I prefer to err on the side of the Victim, anyone that practices abuse , whether it is by having sex with a child or swindling a vulnerable adult should be held responsible for his actions.

One of the pretenses that this bill was not passed was that it would criminalize children that engaged in sexual activity.

We all know that children are curious and will engage in sexual curiosity experiments amongst themselves when they are growing up. No body is going to be persecuted for this.

Clearly this bill was designed for adults, if you feel that reporting a pregnant child for investigation is a 'Violation of Privacy' , maybe we should start looking at your Internet files!

In other words senator, ' If you get a child pregnant, you better go to jail or have a really good explanation'. This was a good bill .

Any child under 14 that has sex with another child should not be prosecuted , unless is rape, and the perpetrator has a pattern , maybe the wording can be changed to make this clear, So lets stop kidding ourselves

and ..........Lets start passing some legislation that DOES protect the Victims!

Caption and bold mine for emphasis.

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