by Steven Ertelt
April 28, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — After the House overwhelmingly passed a parental involvement on abortion measure Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he hopes to be able to bring up the measure for a Senate vote this summer.
Frist told reporters yesterday, following passage of the measure, that the legislation is very important and added it doesn’t matter how many teens it helps.
"No matter how few people it affects, it’s an important bill on the principles," Frist said, according to an Associated Press report.
While the House has passed a version of the bill on three occasions, the latest on a very strongly bipartisan 270-157 vote, the Senate has never voted on it — in part because pro-abortion lawmakers have held it up.
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.
In a statement, President Bush praised the House for passing the measure and would sign the bill if the Senate approves it.
"The parents of pregnant minors can provide counsel, guidance and support to their children and should be involved in these decisions," Bush said. "I urge the Senate to pass this important legislation and help continue to build a culture of life in America."
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.
The 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.
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.
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