House Will Vote on Parental Notification on Abortion Wednesday
by Steven Ertelt
April 25, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday will have a key vote on the issue of whether or not parents should be allowed to be involved when their teenager daughters are considering an abortion. The measure helps stop violation of state parental involvement laws.
The bill is H.R. 748, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), sponsored by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican.
About half of the states in the U.S. have either parental notification or consent laws, which have helped reduced teen abortions by as much as 30 percent. However, abortion advocates or others often taken minor teens across state lines to avoid such laws and ensure the teenager has an abortion without her parents’ knowledge or input.
Ros-Lehtinen’s legislation would make it a federal crime to take a minor teen to another state for abortions that violate her home state’s parental involvement laws.
In addition, CIANA requires abortion practitioners to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor from another state. The only exemptions include cases of abuse, and abortion practitioners are then required to report the suspected abuse to a state agency.
Pro-life groups strongly support the legislation and the National Right to Life Committee, in a note to supporters urging them to contact Congress, says the public does as well.
"Parental notification and parental consent laws are supported by overwhelming majorities of the public — exceeding 80% in some polls," the organization said.
In a Congressional hearing last month, 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.
ACTION: Contact your Representative or Senators to support the bill. Use the following links to find lists of members or call 202-224-3121.