CHILD INTERSTATE ABORTION NOTIFICATION ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 26, 2006)
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Mr. GRAVES. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this rule and the underlying bill, S. 403--the Child Custody Protection Act.
For too long, individuals have exploited State borders to disrupt and undercut important parental involvement laws that have been enacted to protect minors.
A teenage girl needs a parent's consent to get an aspirin at school. The decision to kill an unborn child is life-altering, and often results in unintended psychological and physical problems. So, I find it unconscionable that an individual would deliberately transport a minor across State lines for an abortion without a parent's consent. This type of exploitation has rendered State laws toothless, and in light of this situation, there is a strong demand for Congressional action.
In my home State of Missouri, we have a parental consent law that requires the involvement of a parent when a minor is seeking an abortion. Across the State line from my district is Kansas.
In Kansas, there is a parental notification law but not a consent law. This means that if the parent of a minor in Missouri denies permission for that minor to have an abortion in Missouri, that same minor--usually with the aid of a co-conspirator--can go to Kansas, notify that parent of the intention to have an abortion, and go forward against the will of the parent. In Illinois, it was reported that the mother of a 14-year-old from Missouri was denied the opportunity to even speak with her daughter as she waited for an abortion in an Illinois clinic just over the State line.
Congress must act to prevent the evasion of parental involvement laws. In Missouri, you can bring a civil action against any individual that assists a minor in evading the State parental consent law, but that is not enough, Mr. Speaker. Only a tough, Federal criminal statute will deter individuals from transporting teenagers across state lines in order to willfully violate the parental involvement laws of the teenager's home State.
Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to support H.R. 748, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act when it was considered by the House in April of last year. This rule gives us the opportunity to restore an important provision that was not included in S. 403, specifically the provision that places responsibility on the abortion provider to give a parent or guardian 24 hours' notice of a minor's abortion decision.
I urge my colleagues to pass this resolution and the Child Custody Protection Act. It is time for Congress to take action against all those who assist minors in circumventing a parent's right of involvement in the most serious decision a minor can make.
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