President Bush, John Kerry Differ on Parental Notification for Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 1, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush, John Kerry Differ on Parental Notification for Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 1, 2004

Washington, DC ( — President Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry couldn’t disagree more about the issue of abortion. Both candidates also recently told the Associated Press they have divergent views on the issue of notifying parents when their teenage daughters are considering an abortion.

"I believe parents should have the right to be involved in any major medical decision affecting their minor daughter," President Bush said in response to the AP question on parental notification.

"When young girls who are still legally minors find themselves in difficult situations regarding pregnancy, they may be easily influenced into making harmful and even dangerous choices," the president explained. "We need to protect the health and safety of our young women by ensuring that they have appropriate guidance from responsible adults."

Kerry didn’t directly answer the question, but said, "Like any parent, I believe that parents should be fully involved in all decisions regarding their child."

Instead, Kerry focused on rare cases of teenagers who lived in homes where they are abused. He accused pro-life laws of failing to take them into account.

"Too many proposed laws have failed to include common-sense ‘bypass’ provisions to protect the victims of these brutal and unspeakable crimes," Kerry said.

However, the Supreme Court has required state statutes requiring parental involvement to have bypass provisions. His concern is already being met, pro-life groups say.

Kerry’s answer avoided the question to such a great extent that a West Virginia newspaper said Kerry is misleading voters.

The Wheeling News-Register pro-abortion candidate is attempting to conceal his views, "because Kerry wants voters to see in him what they want to see, regardless of how he really stands on important issues."

President Bush offered what the News-Register called a "straightforward" answer.

"Many states already enforce parental notification laws that help ensure our young women have the supervision and the good counsel they need," President Bush said in his response to the Associated Press.

In fact, 25 states have some form of parental involvement for abortion law — either requiring one or two parents to be either notified or provide their consent before an abortion can be performed.

With only half of the states having such a law, abortion businesses are seizing the opportunity to advertise abortions in states that don’t allow parents to be involved.

Pro-life lawmakers in Congress addressed the problem by putting forward the Child Custody Protection Act — a bill that prohibits someone other than a teen’s parent from taking her to another state for an abortion.

President Bush has taken a position in favor of the legislation, while Senator Kerry is against it.