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New Bill Stops Taking Teen Girls Out of State for Secret Abortions

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 1/25/13 12:18 PM

National

A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would stop the practice of adults other than a teenage girl’s parents from taking her to another state for an abortion.

With abortion clinics arranging for other relatives or adults the clinic assigns to escort an underage girl for a secret abortion in another state — without her parents knowing — the new legislation from Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, would ban the practice. Teens are often whisked away to abortion clinics located in urban areas that also reach into suburbs across a state line.

Portman introduced the Child Custody Protection Act, legislation which he says “would make it a federal offense to transport a minor across a state line for an abortion if it would circumvent a state law requiring parental involvement in that minor’s abortion.”

Portman indicated that, in his home state of Ohio and the majority of other states, laws are in effect requiring parents’ involvement if their minor children have an abortion, but 13 states and the District of Columbia do not have such legislation enacted. To circumvent parental participation, oftentimes minors will travel to less restricted states to receive abortions, he said.

“While our nation is divided on whether or not abortion should be legal, on one point there is a growing consensus: we must all work together to reduce the number of abortions.  By helping to ensure that the parental involvement laws of states are not undermined by transporting minors across state lines, my bill will bring us one step closer toward this goal,” said Portman.

In addition, the Child Custody Protection Act provides criminal and civil penalties in the form of fines or imprisonment up to one year, or both, for knowingly transporting a minor across a state line to skirt parental consent or notification law for abortion that is in effect in the minor’s state of residence.

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Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews his group strongly supports the legislation.

“Ohio Right to Life and its statewide membership applauds Senator Rob Portman for sponsoring the Child Custody Protection Act, which when enacted will protect minors and ensure parents are involved and have knowledge of their child’s safety and well being,” he said. “Nationally, we are witnessing increased efforts by abortion clinics encouraging minors to travel across state lines to circumvent parent involvement.  We must continue to protect our children from the predatory practices and advertisements of those wishing to turn a profit through abortion, and we thank Senator Portman for his leadership.”