February 22, 2013, (ERLC) -- Recently, a woman died during an attempted third-trimester abortion. Her family rushed her to the hospital in a last-minute, desperate effort to save her life, but to no avail. The tragedy is obvious and heartbreaking. An innocent, promising new life was ended, the woman’s parents lost their daughter, and her husband lost his wife.
Now, imagine a teenage girl going through the ordeal of an abortion, without her family even aware of it. Such a situation exists in many states. In a land where many schools cannot give a minor girl an aspirin without the consent of her parents, that same young girl can get an abortion without her parents’ knowledge.
I cannot imagine my teenage daughter facing such a decision without her mother and me knowing. It is inconceivable that an abortionist would even consider putting a minor girl through that horrifying experience without contacting her parents first.
Most states have parental notification laws, but not all of them. If you live in a state that doesn’t require parental notification before a minor girl is subjected to an abortion, contact your state representative and insist that your state pass such a law. If you live in a state that already has a parental notification law, did you know that your daughter can be taken across a state line without such a law and given an abortion there without your knowledge?
So, for example, if you live in Texas or Pennsylvania, where they have state parental notification laws, your minor daughter can be taken to New Mexico or New York and given an abortion without your knowledge. This is happening right now.
The only way to stop this is to pass a federal law that makes this kind of interstate abortion illegal. Recently, Senator Marco Rubio and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introduced the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) in the United States Congress to do that very thing. This parent-friendly bill bans taking a minor girl across state lines for an abortion to evade parental involvement laws in her home state. It also requires the abortionist to notify a parent of an out-of-state minor girl at least 24 hours before the abortion.
This is about as common-sense as you can get. All this bill does is make sure that people can’t bypass the parental notification laws in their own states. It doesn’t stop any state from letting its own citizens do what they want to do. Yet, as basic as this bill is, Democrat support is nearly non-existent. Without Democrat support in the Senate, this bill will not pass. And there are not nearly enough Republicans signed on, either.
Scripture is clear that we parents are responsible before God for our children’s well-being. While we know we can’t protect them from everything, and they are going to make mistakes, surely we should be involved before an abortionist lays a single hand on our daughters.
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I hope you will join us in supporting the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. If so, your congressman and senators need to hear from you right away. Just tell them you want them to pass the CIANA bill. With your help, we can help protect our daughters. May the Lord bless you and yours for caring and getting involved for the sake of others.
Dr. Barrett Duke is Vice President for Public Policy and Research for the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and also serves as Director of the Commission’s Research Institute of the ERLC. Read more of his work here. He is also a regular contributor to the For Faith and Family radio broadcast.
This article originally appeared on the website of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and is reprinted with permission.