House Passes Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Today
The Center for Reproductive Rights today condemned passage of the bill called “Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act” by the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation makes it a federal crime for any person, other than a parent or guardian, to help a teenager cross state lines to obtain an abortion, unless she has already met the requirements of her home state’s parental involvement law. Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights issued this statement in response:From the Republicans for Choice, a DC-based group comprised of 500,000 pro-choice Republicans from across the country:
“We all want our daughters to talk to us, but what is more important is that they are safe. This legislation neither protects our daughters, nor supports them, as its proponents claim. Instead, it is actually a teen endangerment bill. The reality is—in most cases a parent is involved when a teenager seeks an abortion. This law will put those teenagers at risk who live in abusive and dysfunctional homes and would not dare disclose a pregnancy to a parent for fear of further abuse. Beyond jeopardizing these young women’s health and well-being, the law would actually put grandmothers, aunts, and sisters in jail for trying to help teens in need.
“This law clearly violates constitutional standards that have protected women's reproductive health decisions for a generation. It is another incremental step towards blocking women from exercising their constitutional right to abortion. This fall, the Center will go before the Supreme Court to fight another federal law that similarly endangers women’s health.
“If Congress really cared about our daughters, they would not endanger them in any way. We would hope that lawmakers would focus on pregnancy prevention through medically accurate sex education, counseling, and birth control rather than on callous legislation that does more harm than good.”
Today the House of Representatives will debate and vote on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA). CIANA would take away a young woman's access to health services that are meant to be private and confidential. While we encourage teens to seek counsel and support from trusted adults, we also realize that the adult they may trust is not always a parent. CIANA leaves young women no alternative adult by making it a federal crime for any other adult to help the young woman. This bill places a large burden upon doctors as well as the woman, and forces doctors to learn the laws of all 50 states or face criminal penalties. This bill is a violation of our Constitution by insisting that we take our state laws with us as we travel, requiring the minor to fulfill her own state requirements and the requirements of the state she enters.Click here for the House of Representatives phone listsings.