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« on: May 01, 2005, 07:04:31 PM »

Pro-Lifer Defends Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

by Ed Thomas
April 29, 2005

(AgapePress) - A lobbyist for a national pro-life organization is denying accusations from pro-choice opponents that a bill passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on April 27 is a danger to young girls who are pregnant.

Pro-lifers celebrated Wednesday after House leaders approved the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), a bill that would make it illegal to take a minor across state lines for an abortion. However, opponents of the legislation feel the bill is nothing to rejoice about. A spokesman for the National Abortion Rights Action League says the measure undermines states' rights for the 11 states that do not have parental notification laws and endangers the lives of girls who may be under physical threat.

But Patricia Coll, a congressional liaison for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), disputes that criticism. During an appearance on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, she explained that the pro-abortion argument is simply not true. The reason, Coll said, is because the CIANA includes exceptions that honor existing judicial bypasses in state laws, and that make it possible for minors to legally cross state lines in the event of danger from parents.

The NRLC liaison went on to clarify that, under the provisions of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, a pregnant girl who is an abuse victim or otherwise feels threatened by a parent can get court authorization to bypass parental involvement. The minor "can then be transported across state lines for that abortion without her father's involvement and then present the judicial waiver to the abortionist," she says.

Coll also noted that a recent poll, released just this week, surveyed whether people believed minor girls should be able to be taken across state lines for an abortion without their parents knowledge. The poll found that only 15 percent of the respondents agreed with the idea of overriding parents' right to be involved, while 82 percent in all disagreed, including 75 percent who strongly disagreed.

Those results lead the National Right to Life representative to conclude, "It's perfectly clear that the American public supports parental involvement." And she along with many other pro-lifers feels the parental notification law passed by Congress, but currently blocked in the Senate, is a proper response to that widespread public support for parental notification.

The point of the CIANA, Coll asserts, is to strengthen the parents' rights to be involved in the decision about a minor's abortion and to discourage attempts to circumvent state parental involvement laws by crossing state lines. She says she applauds this legislation that, if passed by Senate and signed into law, would make it a federal offense to transport minors out-of-state in order to sidestep state parental notification statutes and help pregnant girls get abortions without their parents' knowledge.

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