CHILD INTERSTATE ABORTION NOTIFICATION ACT -- (House of Representatives - April 27, 2005)
Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, the sponsor of this legislation, the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen), is my colleague and friend; but on this issue I must respectfully disagree with her.
I know that most of my colleagues believe teens should communicate with their parents and guardians when faced with difficult and terrifying choices. Unfortunately, that does not always happen; and in some cases where abuse and neglect are involved, we cannot force it to happen. In every community in every congressional district, whether red or blue, the sad truth is that there are unspeakable acts perpetrated against young girls by relatives that result in pregnancy, and this legislation does nothing to protect them.
In a perfect world, there would be no heinous acts against children. In a perfect world, no woman would become pregnant until she was spiritually, physically, and emotionally prepared to love and care for a child. Just over a month ago, I stood on the floor of this House because I firmly believed that politicians have no right to meddle in personal and private affairs of medical decisions. As recent actions and events have reflected, leaders in this Congress across the country are seeking more ways to violate the Nation's laws and our personal freedoms in order to impose their will on American families. This is not the role of Congress, nor should it be. This legislation includes no provision for a teenager who fears turning to her parents because the pregnancy may be the result of an act of rape or incest. It is wrong and we must stop it.
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Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, I thank the distinguished gentleman from Michigan for yielding me this time.
I want to ask my colleagues to ask themselves, what messages are we sending to young women and girls about what their value is, with no provisions and no exceptions and no safety clauses in this bill to protect them from abuse? Why could we not have an amendment to ensure that protection for those young girls?
Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to consider all of the unintended consequences and ramifications of passing this legislation. But more importantly, I ask them to consider the young women and girls and families whose lives we will be impacting. The result of this legislation, sadly, will not be more communication between parents and their daughters. It will not result in fewer minors becoming pregnant. It will result in more young girls ending their pregnancies themselves, giving birth in bathroom stalls and potentially harming their newborns and themselves. These and other dire outcomes are the potential unintended consequences of this legislation.
Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to think carefully through the consequences of this legislation.
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