by Steven Ertelt
March 4, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Congressional hearing on Thursday focused on legislation that would help parents know when their teenager daughters are considering an abortion. A Pennsylvania mother told lawmakers the story of a secret abortion her daughter obtained and the heartache that resulted.
Marcia Carroll of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, testified in favor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act and said it would have prevented the parents of her daughter’s boyfriend from taking her to a New Jersey abortion facility for an abortion without her knowledge.
Once at the abortion business, the boyfriend’s family refused to take Carroll’s daughter home to Pennsylvania until she had the abortion.
"No one should be able to circumvent state laws by performing an abortion in another state on a minor daughter without parental consent," she told the House Subcommittee on the Constitution.
While more than two dozen states have parental notification or consent laws in effect, nothing prevents taking teen girls to another state without such a law for an abortion.
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 pro-abortion groups to drive teens across state lines for secret abortions.
The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act would prohibit that.
The measure would also 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.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican and the bill’s lead sponsor in the House and
Senate Republicans have made the parental involvement bill one of their top 10 legislative priorities this session.
President Bush has indicated he will sign the measure into law and pro-life groups strongly support the legislation.
"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 similar bill, known then as the Child Custody Protection Act, in 1998, 1999 and 2002. The measure has never received a Senate vote.
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.
ACTION: Contact your Representative or Senators to support the bill. Use the following links to find lists of members or call 202-224-3121.