Congressional Bill to Protect Parental Rights on Teen Abortions Gets Exposure

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 11, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Bill to Protect Parental Rights on Teen Abortions Gets Exposure

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 11
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A Congressional bill that would protect teenagers and parental rights when their daughters are considering an abortion got some extra exposure on Thursday. Members of the House Constitution Subcommittee hosted a forum to draw attention to the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

The measure would prohibit any person, other than a parent or guardian, from transporting a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion.

The idea behind the bill is to make sure the parental consent and notification laws in a minor girl’s home state are followed and that abortion center staff or some other person doesn’t take a teen to another state for a secret abortion.

The bill is especially helpful for parents and teens living in large cities near state borders of states that do not protect parental rights the same way.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, is the prime sponsor of the bill.

During the forum, she said the measure will "protect minors from exploitation from the abortion industry, promote strong family ties, and will help foster respect for state laws."

Members of Congress urged the pro-abortion Democratic Congressional leadership to allow a vote on the bill, although they don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, told her group is very supportive of the legislation.

"Parents know their children best, love them most, and have the natural desire to protect them," she explained. "Yet as it is now, minor girls can be taken across state lines by a stranger and coerced into an abortion without their parents’ knowledge."

"The law needs to catch up to the reality that parents’ rights extend beyond state lines, especially when it involves an invasive procedure that kills a human being and can scar their daughter for life," she added.

Shari Rendall, the director of legislation and public policy for CWA also talked about the bill.

"At a time when schools are fearful of being sued for supplying a student with aspirin without parental consent, it is incomprehensible that there is no law to prohibit an adult from taking a child across state lines to obtain an abortion and circumvent parental notification laws," she said.

"It is essential to protect children and ensure they are not coerced into making an adult decision without the guidance and wisdom of their parents," she told

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