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.