by Steven Ertelt
September 25, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on a Senate-passed bill to curb the evasion of state parental notification and consent laws. Both the House and Senate had approved bills to do that, but Senate Democrats prevented the creation of a final version of the measure to send to President Bush for his signature.
The Senate and House passed two different versions of the legislation, designed to prevent taking minor teenagers to another state for a secret abortion without their parents knowledge or consent.
When both chambers approve different bills, a conference committee is normally needed to craft a final version to be sent to the president. Senate Democrats blocked the committee from meeting and the House is hoping to force the Senate to vote on the block by combining the two versions of the Child Custody Protection Act into one and approving it.
According to a National Right to Life legislative alert sent to LifeNews.com, once the House votes on the parental notification bill, it will then head to the Senate and abortion advocates there are expected to block it. As a result, 60 votes will be needed to stop the block and vote on the final bill.
The Senate approved its measure on a 65 to 34 vote in July, with several pro-abortion senators backing the pro-life measure. However, those senators may be reluctant to vote to lift the block on the bill.
"If the pro-life side fails to obtain 60 votes, the legislation will die," NRLC explains. "If we succeed, the bill will go the President Bush, who is eager to sign it into law."
The pro-life group says timing is important because only a few short days remain before adjournment and the bill will die unless both Houses finalize the parental notification bill beforehand.
The new House version of the parental notification measure will combine features from the Senate’s Child Custody Protection Act and the House’s initial Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.
It contains the provision to make it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion if it violates her home state’s parental notification or consent laws. It will contain a measure to make it a crime for a parent who raped a child to take her to another state for a secret abortion.
The bill will also contain an important provision requiring abortion practitioners to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor who is a resident of a different state.
Polls show about 80 percent of the American public back parental involvement laws.
ACTION: Contact your House member and urge strong support for the parental notification legislation. Also, contact your senators and urge them to vote for cloture on S. 403, the parental notification bill. You can call any House or Senate member at 202-224-3121.