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Floor Statement - Child Custody Protection Act

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MCCAIN. Mr. President, today I became an official cosponsor of S1645, the Child Custody Protection Act introduced by Senator ABRAHAM. This bill addresses a very critical problem impacting our nation's families and their children, abortion. Under this bill, adults who take children across state lines to receive an abortion without the knowledge of their parents would be committing a federal offense.

Currently, 22 states require parental notification if a minor is going to receive an abortion. Yet, each and every day adults help thousands of children travel across state lines to receive abortions in states which do not require the notification of a parent.

Being an ardent opponent of abortion, I am gravely concerned about the children who are being taken by adults, who are not their parents, into different states to receive abortions. This process is wrong and must be stopped. We cannot allow adults to circumvent state laws by transporting a minor across state lines for an abortion without parental consent and involvement.

The decision to have an abortion is a critical decision, one which I personally hope that women of all ages would elect not to have. However, despite an individual's personal opinion on abortion, the majority of Americans, myself included, believe it is imperative for minor children to involve their parents in this life altering decision. According to a 1996 Gallup poll, 74 percent of Americans supported requiring minors to get parental consent for an abortion. According to the Supreme Court, "the medical, emotional, and psychological consequences of an abortion are serious and can be lasting; this is particularly so when the patient is immature." Clearly, our nation's children should not be kept from their parents when making an important life decision with such broad ramifications as an abortion.

This is why I am cosponsoring Senator
ABRAHAM's bill, the "Child Custody Protection Act." This bill would make it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines with intent to avoid state laws requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion.

It is my firm belief that we must pass this law and stop people from bypassing the laws of our individual states. This legislation protects our children from making a life altering decision without the guidance of their most trusted advisors, their parents.

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