by Steven Ertelt
February 9, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life lawmakers have reintroduced one of the two abortion bills that will top the Congressional agenda this year — the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.
The legislation is the mostly the same bill that would help make sure parents have a right to know when their teenage daughters are considering an abortion.
According to the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), 30 states have such parental involvement laws on the books and they are in effect in 24 states.
However, abortion businesses located near states without such laws routinely advertise across the border that abortions can be performed without parental knowledge. Some make arrangements for abortion facility staff or representatives of abortion advocacy groups to drive teens across state lines for secret abortions.
The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act would make it a crime to do that.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican and the bill’s lead sponsor, says told Family News in Focus that she is surprised such a bill is necessary.
"It’s just unbelievable," she said, "how the abortion lobby has managed to manipulate the abortion debate so that this would not be construed as kidnapping, in their way of thinking, but it’s construed as helping the girl out."
According to Douglas Johnson, NRLC’s legislative director, new provisions in the revised bill require an abortion practitioner to notify parents of a teenager who has come alone from another state to have an abortion unless she has a judge’s permission to have the abortion.
Other pro-life groups also support the legislation, which enjoys support from President Bush.
"Knowledge of their daughter’s pregnancy would give parents the opportunity to help her consider alternatives to abortion, like adoption, the health risks that result from the procedure, and would allow intervention in any abusive relationship where she may be a victim," says Wendy Wright of Concerned Women of America.
The House of Representatives previously passed the bill, known then as the Child Custody Protection Act, in 1998, 1999 and 2002.
The new bill is expected to get House approval again, but overcoming a filibuster in the Senate may prove difficult.
While Republicans have 55 seats in the Senate, a few of them are pro-life. Only one Democrat, Nebraska Senator Bill Nelson, is pro-life and few other Democrats are likely prospects to support the bill.
Still, Senate leaders put the bill at the top of their agenda at the beginning of the Congressional session.