Congress Yet Again Proposes Federal Parental Consent Law

For years, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has introduced the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, a bill meant to stop teens under 18 from going to a state without a parental consent or parental notification law in order to obtain an abortion.

And for years, the bill has gone nowhere.  But this year it actually got a hearing.

Supporting the bill was University of St. Thomas professor Theresa Collett, who called the bill “constitutionally sound.”  Then again, she said the same about numerous anti-choice legislative bills in Oklahoma that have been held up in the courts for years now.

Ros-Lehtinen stated during the hearing that:

CIANA is a critical piece of legislation that ensures that parental rights are upheld, while promoting the inherent dignity of the unborn. The majority of the American people and more than 30 state legislatures have made it clear that parents have the right to know whether their child is trying to undergo an abortion.

“Parental rights” are upheld, and the “unborn” are protected. There is, of course, no mention of rights or needs of the pregnant teen.

As more states push legislation that requires parental consent and notification, as well as try to tighten requirements for getting a judicial bypass on notification rules, expect bills like CIANA to continue to gain support from the anti-choice activists who want to literally trap teens into giving birth.

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  • cade

    Gotta get those mini-sluts in line! Before they grow up and become big sluts and think they can think for themselves!


    One of the serious, constitutional challenges to imposing ID laws that would restrict interstate travel in the name of the War on Terror is that we, as citizens, have the protected right to travel anywhere in this country. Children are citizens in and of their own right, not as an extension of their parents’ citizenship. We should all know this from the immigration debate. It is a serious question  whether it is constiutional to prohibit a citizen’s right to interstate travel per the wishes of another citizen, especially when this involves a parent’s religion or other personal views and not necessarily concern for their children’s health. What this exposes–and what is exposed by the approval of supposedly creditable authorities like Prof. Collett–is a particuarly vile 19th century-type bias of seeing children as property of their parents and not as proper citizens in their own right. Granted, this sort of bias has deep, deep roots in the conservative American mindset, and is coloring a lot of aspects of the War on Women: (h/t Corey Robin for that article)


    The fact that this children-as-property bias is overwhelming levied at girls just goes to show how terrifed and cynical these people are of women’s sexuality. We can’t trust teenage girls with their own bodies and sexuality. They need to be reigned in and parked in the stable. They are more valuable as virgins—not the pagan virgin who has the potential of sex and is on the verge of discovering her power of bearing new life into the world, but of the Christian virgin who void of self-awareness, of self-detemination and of an authentic identity and power of her own. The Christain virgin is nothing more than a vessel for men, like the Virgin Mary was the vessel of Christ, her worth in the Scriptures summed up only in her being the Mother of God-made-(Male)Man, with her most valuable virginity kept intact. The Christian virgin is valued for what she lacks, for her ignorance of herself, her body and her nature,  for her lack of autonomy and authentic personhood, for her emptiness that awaits being filled by men, at men’s leisure, for men’s will. And this is what these people want our girls and young women to be. This is the thinking behind this bill–this FEDERAL bill. If you’re a parent with a daughter and you’re not horrified by that, I despair for you and your daughters.