by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Senate on Friday failed to overturn a block pro-abortion Senate Democrats had placed on a bill preventing someone other than a girl’s parents from taking her to another state to have an abortion. Democrats had placed a hold on the bill that required 60 votes to remove, but pro-life lawmakers could only obtain 57.
This critical legislation would make it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion if this action circumvents the application of a state law requiring parental involvement in a minor’s abortion.
With the Senate adjourning for the election recess the bill appears to be dead for the Congressional session and lawmakers will have to try again next year.
In the vote, 51 of 55 Republicans backed cloture, which would force a debate on the parental notification bill while 6 of 45 Democrats supported the Senate voting on the measure.
Both the House and the Senate had previously voted for the bill to prevent secret teen abortions but Senate Democrats refused to allow a conference committee to meet so a final version could be sent to President Bush for his signature.
The House approved a revised version of the bill earlier in the week — combining its bill with the provisions senators added, but 8 of 14 pro-abortion Democrats who voted for the bill back in July refused to support the new measure.
"The only major piece of pro-life legislation considered by Congress this session fell victim to the deceptive and obstructionist tactics of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and his allies who first voted for the bill and then blocked it from getting to the president," Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained.
"Thirty-seven states have passed parental notification laws with polls showing overwhelming support from over 80 percent of the American people," Perkins added.
"However, the Senate’s unconscionable failure to pass this legislation undermines these state laws by allowing almost anyone to strip a parents’ rights away and endanger the health and safety of minor girls nationwide," he said.
Of the 14 Democrats who initially voted in favor of parental notification earlier, yesterday eight flipped and voted to kill the parental notification requirement: Ken Salazar (Colorado), Tom Carper (Delaware), Bill Nelson (Florida), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Evan Bayh (Indiana), Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan (both of North Dakota), and Herb Kohl (Wisconsin).
The four Republicans who opposed a vote on the parental involvement bill included Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island), Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (both Maine), and Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania).
"It is remarkable that only six out of 45 Senate Democrats voted to require a parent to be notified before an abortion is performed on a young daughter in some other state," National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson said in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.
He said a minority of lawmakers "has preserved the ability of profiteering abortionists to keep parents in the dark."
ACTION: Click here to see how your senators voted and take a few minutes to let them know about their vote.