WASHINGTON (March 7, 2000) -- Gail Quinn, Executive Director of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), has urged the Senate to vote in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act (S. 661).
S. 661 affirms parents' right to protect their minor daughter from those who have no legal responsibility for her, and who unilaterally decide that a secret abortion is in her best interest.
"The disturbing and growing practice of boyfriends or relatives transporting teenage girls across state lines to evade states' parental involvement laws on abortion is reason enough for quick passage of the Child Custody Protection Act," Ms. Quinn wrote in a letter (March 3) to the Senate.
"The Act seeks to protect vulnerable teens by allowing parents to file suit in such cases to vindicate their fundamental rights and responsibilities regarding the care of their children," the NCCB official wrote. "This will help protect parental autonomy in states with parental notification or consent laws on abortion. No one else--boyfriends, in-laws, counselors, friends--can usurp the fundamental role of parents.
"The need for protecting minors is compelling," Ms. Quin continued. "Abortion can involve life-long emotional and physical trauma for women, particularly young girls. In such situations, the love and support of families is crucial and needs to be encouraged. Parents should not be kept in the dark when the welfare of their children and their unborn grandchildren is at stake. Many states have wisely chosen to protect parents' rights in this area, and the intent of their protective laws should not be thwarted."
The Child Custody Protection Act (S. 661) is identical to legislation overwhelmingly approved by the House last summer.