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Thursday, March 8, 2012

House hearing highlights bill to ban transporting minors for abortions

Today, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), H.R. 2299
More than three-quarters of Americans believe that parents should be involved before their  children have an abortion and more than 80 percent believe that an individual should not be able to take a minor across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge.
The CIANA bill would prohibit taking minors interstate for abortion to evade parental involvement laws.
The bill prohibits knowingly taking a minor across state lines with the intent of obtaining an abortion, if this action evades a parental involvement law in the minor's home state. It also allows parents who suffer harm to sue for damages. These provisions do not apply when the abortion is necessary to save the girl's life or when the transporting individual reasonably believes that the parental involvement law was satisfied because the parents had given consent or been notified or a court waived those requirements.
The bill also requires an abortionist to notify a parent at least 24 hours before performing an abortion on an out-of-state minor. Notice may be provided by an agent of the abortion provider and constructive notice is permissible if actual notice is impossible. These provisions do not apply when the abortionist complies with a parental involvement law in the state where the abortion occurs; documentation reasonably shows that a home-state court has authorized the abortion; the minor declares that she is a victim of sexual or physical abuse or of neglect (but the abortionist must still notify appropriate authorities before performing the abortion); or the abortion is necessary to save the girl's life, (the abortionist must still notify the parents within 24 hours after the abortion).
Witness testimony and video clips of the hearing can be found below.
Witness Written Testimony
  1. Professor Teresa Collett, Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law  (Republican-invited witness)
  2. The Very Reverend Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, President and Dean, Episcopal Divinity School (Democrat-invited witness)
  3. Dr. Michael New, Department of Social Sciences, University of Michigan - Dearborn (Republican-invited witness)
Video Clips

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