Capital Hill Watch
Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
The House of Representatives is expected to consider as early as Wednesday, April 27, 2005, a vote on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act H.R. 748 [CIANA] (To view the Full Text of the legislation visit: Full Text of legislation ).
The measure contains two sections, each of which creates a new federal crime subject to a $100,000 fine, or one year in jail, or both. To transport a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion in another state in order to avoid a state law requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion decision is made a federal crime by the first section of CIANA. To minors themselves, or to their parents, the first section of CIANA does not apply. Also, in life-threatening emergencies that may require that an abortion be provided immediately, it does not apply.
When a minor from one state crosses state lines to have an abortion in another state that does not have a state law requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion decision, the second section of CIANA applies. Also, when a minor from one state crosses state lines to have an abortion in another state that does have a state law requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion decision, but the physician fails to comply with such law, the second section of CIANA applies. Essentially a default federal parental notification rule that kicks in for abortions that involve interstate travel to states that do not already have a parental involvement law is this second section of CIANA. The measure, in such cases, makes it a federal crime for the abortion provider to fail to give one of the minor's parents, or a legal guardian if necessary, 24 hours' notice of the minor's abortion decision (or notice by mail if necessary) prior to the abortion being performed. To protect fundamental parental rights by giving parents a chance to help their young daughters through difficult circumstances as best they can, including by giving a health care provider their daughter's medical history to ensure she receives safe medical care and any necessary follow-up treatment is the purpose of this section. Also, parental notification allows parents to assist their daughter in the selection of a competent abortion provider. Where the abortion provider is presented with court papers showing that the parental involvement law in effect in the minor's state of residence has been complied with, where the minor states that she has been the victim of abuse by a parent and the abortion provider informs the appropriate state authorities of such abuse, or where a life-threatening emergency may require that an abortion be provided immediately, the second section of CIANA does not apply.
A new provision in the bill is the second section of CIANA requiring that a physician practicing in a state that does not have a parental involvement law notify a parent when a minor crosses state lines to have an abortion.
The measure protects the right of parents to be given a chance to help their children through difficult times and nothing in CIANA prevents a minor from obtaining an abortion.
What Can You Do?
Urge your representative to SUPPORT the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act H.R. 748.
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The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative (last name):
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