by Steven Ertelt
April 27, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday protecting state statutes in more than two dozen states that requires abortion businesses to obtain either the consent or notification of a parent before performing an abortion on a teenage girl.
The House passed the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (H.R. 748) by a very strongly bipartisan 270-157 vote.
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.
Florida Republican Rep Ileana 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.
Lanier Swann, of Concerned Women for America, said the legislation would "defend minor girls who are taken advantage of in their vulnerable condition by those who do not hold their best interest at heart."
The House rejected amendments to allow other adults to be notified — criticized as an attempt by abortion advocates to find sympathetic family members or abortion advocates to pressure teens into abortions.
Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, is the primary sponsor of the bill in the Senate, S.8/S.403. The measure has 38 co-sponsors, including 37 Republicans and pro-life Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
Senate Republican leaders have placed the bill on their top ten list of key pieces of legislation to pass. However, Senate Democrats have been using procedural tactics to stall consideration of the bill — a tactic pro-life groups condemned.
"It is outrageous that the Senate Democratic caucus has thrown up procedural obstacles to block parental notification legislation, despite numerous polls showing 75 percent or more of the public supports requiring parental notification," National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson said.
The bill also 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.
According to a new poll of the American public, both pro-life activists and abortion advocates strongly support laws that allow parents to be involved when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion.
Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the poll for the Fox News Channel and found that 78 percent favor parental notification laws and 72 percent support parental consent laws.
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 Senators and urge a vote on the bill. Use the following links to find lists of members or call 202-224-3121.
Senate members – https://www.senate.gov