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Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I am proud to stand with my friend from Florida, Senator Rubio, as he introduces an important piece of legislation, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. This bill, which is being introduced in the House by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, is based on the belief that children should not make profound life-changing decisions by themselves and that parents are generally in the best and most responsible position to help them.
One of the many disturbing ironies in the abortion debate is that parental consent is needed for such things as tattoos or school fieldtrips but not always for abortions that will end one life and change another forever. Abortion advocates say that abortion should be treated as any other surgical procedure many of them oppose doing so when it comes to parental consent.
What is worse, there are individuals and organizations out there who appear to care more about money than about kids. They are willing to help young girls get abortions by any means necessary, including taking them to other States without the knowledge or consent of their parents. Mind you, those same parents will be responsible for the aftermath, for the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of the abortion. If parents are to be responsible at the end, they have the right to be there at the beginning.
If it were possible, just for a moment, to take the abortion politics out of the picture, every parent knows that kids have to develop over time the judgment and maturity to make decisions. No one is more committed to them, no one has more love for them, no one has more responsibility for them than their parents.
This bill has two parts. First, it prohibits taking a minor across state lines for an abortion if doing so evades the parental involvement law in her home State. In the 109th Congress, this portion of our bill passed the Senate with 65 bipartisan votes. More than 80 percent of our fellow Americans support it. Second, this bill requires abortionists to notify parents of an out-of-state minor before performing an abortion. Without this common sense requirement, abortion providers and advocates actually advertise how minors in states that require parental involvement can get abortions elsewhere. This perverse practice undermines parents and puts young girls at greater risk. Fifty-seven Senators of both parties, including 23 still serving in this body today, voted for cloture on this combined bill in 2006.
I urge my colleagues to read the bill. It does not apply when an abortion is necessary to save a girl's life or if the girl is a victim of abuse or neglect. Again, please read the bill. It is carefully drafted with the appropriate exceptions and safeguards in order to focus on what unites the vast majority of Americans, that parents should be involved before their child has an abortion. The majority of states have laws requiring parental involvement and, with its interstate component, this bill is a legitimate and constitutional way for Congress to help protect children and support parents.
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