Child Interstate Abortion Act Introduced in Congress

Senators Marcus Rubio of Florida and Orrin Hatch of Utah have introduced a bill that would make it a crime to take a minor across a state line to help her obtain an abortion, and would fine or imprison a provider who performed an abortion on a teen from a parental consent or notification state if that provider doesn’t seek out the teen’s parents before the procedure.

Via press release:

“The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act would help prevent the evasion of parental consent and notification laws in 36 states,” Senator Rubio said. “State parental involvement laws have been undermined and circumvented by those who simply travel to other states. It is important that this practice end permanently and states have the ability to enforce their laws.”

“I’m proud to stand with Senator Rubio in introducing this important legislation that is based on the belief that children should not make profound life-changing decisions by themselves and that parents are the best and most responsible position to help them,” said Hatch. “It includes appropriate exceptions and safeguards in order to focus on what unites the vast majority of Americans, that parents should be involved before their child has an abortion. This bill is a legitimate and constitutional way for Congress to help protect children and support parents.”

For many teens without local access to services, the closest provider may in fact be in a different state, regardless of laws, putting more burden on the teen to have to delay a procedure that gets more complicated as the pregnancy progresses. 

Doctors will also be forced to rely on the information provided by the teen that she does in fact live in the state, knowing full well that the teen may find it in her best interest to lie.  The proposed law would seriously erode the doctor/patient relationship and force doctors to second guess whether they wish to provide abortions to minors at all, something the backers of this bill no doubt relish as an effect of the potential law.

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  • freetobe

    was raped by a parent? it happens. Where is she to go? This is way to invasive and gee are these GOP ers not for Big Government invading everyones lives like a virus? Could have fooled me.

    Welcome the new GOP christian taliban, right here in the USA folks!

  • beenthere72

    “It includes appropriate exceptions and safeguards in order to focus on what unites the vast majority of Americans, that parents should be involved before their child has an abortion. This bill is a legitimate and constitutional way for Congress to help protect children and support parents.”


    WTF.    How is this constitutional?  How is this less government intrusion into people’s personal lives?   How is this smaller government?   Where are the jobs?  


    This legislation does not apply in the cases of a medical emergency, abuse or neglect.


    And how are minors/doctors/etc supposed to prove abuse or neglect?  Who gets to make that judgement?


    I have a question:  has anybody ever been arrested for violating any parental notification state laws?

  • crowepps

    Once you have declared that the reproductive organs of girls belong to someone else, whether its their parents or the State, it’s an absolute necessity to have a Fugitive Girl Act. 

  • plume-assassine

    What if that child was raped by a parent?

    This is especially a problem in Utah, Orrin Hatch’s own state. It’s due largely in part to the ~40,000 Fundamentalist Mormons who live there and practice polygamy, which involves giving away daughters to men in the community (often other family members) when the girls are 14 years old or younger. I just finished re-reading Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer and he gives several accounts of fathers raping and impregnating their own daughters. It’s incredibly disturbing and sad.


    If this bill comes to pass, then the pro-choice movement will just have to create an underground railroad of sorts in order to help desperate teenage girls escape invasive parental consent laws.

  • crowepps

    The Fugitive Slave Act was enforced by groups of Slave catchers, who roamed the Northern states with vague printed descriptions of persons they claimed had escaped slavery and who must be surrendered to them, not too fussy about seizing anyone atl all who was a likely  prospect to forced back into slavery, even people who had been born in freedom and lived in the area all their lives.  Ransoms were routinely paid to get them to release people.  They were opposed by ‘slavery resisters’, who rescued the persons they seized, violently if necessary.

    The Civil War wasn’t such a wonderful experience for this country that you would think any rational person would want to repeat it, but apparently religious fanatics aren’t capable of learning from experience.  They are willing to destroy the entire country and everyone in it in the service of their so-called ‘religious principles’.  The most important of which, apparently, is women are domestic cattle, fit only for riding or breeding.

  • equalist

    I don’t think it could have been said any better.   Welcome back to the days when women and girls belonged to their fathers until being handed over to their husbands like a car picked out of a classified ad.

  • jennifer-starr

    In the pro-life world these little girls should be forced to give birth, no matter the damage  to their bodies, their mental or physical health or to their childhoods. Even that little girl who was only nine years old and pregnant with twins–the pro-lifers were more concerned for the fetuses than for the actual child. Disgusting. 

  • prochoicekatie

    It’s just too fantastic that the “state’s rights” folks who constantly complain that Roe v. Wade trampled on a state issue and whined incessantly about health care reform stampeding over state’s rights, are the same individuals who want to regulate interstate commerce and the provision of health care state to state with a federal law.

    Their whole argument then was that through open interstate commerce laws, citizens will “dictate” the market by working and living in states whose policies are most appealing. The “capitalism of policy.” They seemed to have abandoned that now, simply because few would choose to live somewhere they have fewer rights?

    You don’t want to allow your citizenry to leave to obtain access to their RIGHTS elsewhere? Classy.

    I can see this being tried for constitutionality – the regulation of interstate commerce is a finicky beast.

  • crowepps

    You are using the word “State” to mean collection of citizens who collectively establish laws and social customs.


    The people in question are using the word “State” to mean “the laws and social customs imposed by a ruling elite who use their power to force conformity on those under their control.”


    You’re thinking of a democratic state — they’re thinking of a theocracy.

  • freewomyn

    Argh, this is such bullshit.  I don’t even know where to start.