WASHINGTON (April 16, 2002) -- The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on the Child
Custody Protection Act. The legislation would make it illegal to take a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion without the knowledge of a parent or guardian – thus evading parental involvement laws in the minor's home state.
"The need for this legislation is real and pressing," said Cathleen A. Cleaver, Esq., Director of Planning and Information for the USCCB's Secretariat for Pro-life Activities. "No parent could possibly accept having his or her child taken away to another state for a secret abortion. Yet abortion advocates admit that this happens all the time. This practice strikes at the heart of the family and the rights of parents. But more than that, it presents a grave danger to the teens who are taken across state lines for a surgical procedure without their medical history or records, and with no medical follow-up or intervention."
According to a 1998 poll commissioned by the Secretariat, 85% of all Americans agree that a minor should not be taken across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge. Even among those who describe themselves as "pro-choice," three-fourths oppose this practice.
"This is common sense legislation that deserves support from all points on the political spectrum," Cleaver said. "Parents have not only the right but the responsibility to be involved in serious medical decisions affecting their children. Abortion – with its lifelong physical, emotional, and psychological consequences – must not be the one exception. We urge Congress to pass the Child Custody Protection Act without delay."