New York - The Center for Reproductive Rights today condemned passage of the bill called "Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act" by the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation makes it a federal crime for any person, other than a parent or guardian, to help a teenager cross state lines to obtain an abortion, unless she has already met the requirements of her home state's parental involvement law. Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights issued this statement in response:
"We all want our daughters to talk to us, but what is more important is that they are safe. This legislation neither protects our daughters, nor supports them, as its proponents claim. Instead, it is actually a teen endangerment bill. The reality is-in most cases a parent is involved when a teenager seeks an abortion. This law will put those teenagers at risk who live in abusive and dysfunctional homes and would not dare disclose a pregnancy to a parent for fear of further abuse. Beyond jeopardizing these young women's health and well-being, the law would actually put grandmothers, aunts, and sisters in jail for trying to help teens in need. "
"This law clearly violates constitutional standards that have protected women's reproductive health decisions for a generation. It is another incremental step towards blocking women from exercising their constitutional right to abortion. This fall, the Center will go before the Supreme Court to fight another federal law that similarly endangers women's health."
"If Congress really cared about our daughters, they would not endanger them in any way. We would hope that lawmakers would focus on pregnancy prevention through medically accurate sex education, counseling, and birth control rather than on callous legislation that does more harm than good."