By Terry Vanderheyden

  WASHINGTON, July 26, 2006 (Â- Although the US Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly ratified a bill that makes it a crime for minors to be transported across state lines for an abortion to circumvent parental notification laws, a move by the Senate Democratic leadership immediately erected a procedural roadblock in an attempt to kill the bill.

  The Senate turned aside all weakening amendments to the Child Custody Protection Act (S. 403), sponsored by Nevada Senator John Ensign, and voted 65-34 to approve the bill. Immediately following the vote to pass the bill, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) made a routine move to allow appointment of a conference committee to work out differences with a bill already passed by the House that contains different but related provisions. This routine move was objected to, on behalf of Senate Democrats, by the assistant Democratic leader, Sen. Dick Durbin (Illinois).

“Fourteen Democratic senators voted to pass the bill, but only minutes later the Democratic caucus collectively moved to kill the bill by objecting to the routine, necessary step of sending the bill to a conference committee,” said National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “The Senate Democratic leadership is now obstructing legislation supported by 80 percent of the public, doing the bidding of the abortion lobby. They are ignoring the 80 percent of the public that believes parental notification laws protect vulnerable minors and the rights of parents.”

  Fifty-one Republicans voted for the bill. The four Republicans who voted against it were: Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was absent.

  Following passage of the bill, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, commented, “We’re going to sacrifice a lot of girls’ lives,” according to an AP report.

“This legislation defends parent’s authority over their children because as parents, they are best equipped to handle the physical, emotional and psychological health of their child,” commented Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Director of Government Relations, Lanier Swann. “Circumventing the law by crossing state lines with an older boyfriend, friend or anyone other than a parent fiercely undermines a parents’ right to protect their child. Moreover, such action puts teens that have been preyed upon by older men in grave danger. CWA believes the CCPA will go a long way in putting an end to those very real dangers.”Â

  More than half of the states have parental notification or parental consent laws in effect. However, these laws are often circumvented when minors are transported to other states that do not have parental involvement requirements, often under pressure from older boyfriends or at the urging of abortion providers.Â

  Parental notification and parental consent laws are supported by overwhelming majorities of the public—exceeding 80% in some polls. For a sampling of public opinion polls on this issue, see:

  See Monday’s coverage:

  Senate Considers Bill Criminalizing Transportation of Minor Girls Across State Borders For Abortion


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