House Sends Message to Women: Your Health and Rights Are Expendable for Political Gain

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act passes House again by a 264-153 vote

Yesterday, the House recycled its intrusive Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), and passed it again, this time with minor modifications and under the guise of the Child Custody Protection Act (CCPA). Both CIANA and CCPA make criminals out of adults, such as grandparents or religious counselors, accompanying minors across state lines for the purpose of obtaining a legal abortion outside of the parental consent or notification laws of their home states. This type of legislation abandons young women who choose not to involve a parent or guardian, often because they feel they cannot do so for reasons of family violence or a fear of being forced to leave home.

Following passage of the bill, People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas released the following statement:

“Injecting government into the most private decisions families can make is simply wrong. This bill will deny young women assistance of trusted adults, put their health and lives at risk, rob them of their rights, and forsake fundamental privacy for them and their families.

“Bringing back CIANA for a second vote is clearly an election-year ploy, rushed on to the floor at the last minute in the waning days of Congress by a majority party that fears it will lose ground in the coming mid-term elections, reminiscent of the attempts to inject the federal government into the tragic case of Terri Schiavo. It's a political gimmick meant to distract and energize a disgruntled base, at the expense of the rights and the health of American women and their families.”

People For the American Way believes that our society can do a better job taking care of young women in need and empowering all teens with the knowledge to make responsible and informed choices, and accordingly supports comprehensive prevention legislation such as the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act.

The original version of CIANA passed in April 2005 by a vote of 270-157. CCPA passed in the Senate in July 2006 by a vote of 65-34. Conference negotiations on the two bills have yet to take place.

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