WASHINGTON (July 19, 2006)—Cardinal William H. Keeler today urged the U.S. Senate to support legislation that affirms parents' right to protect their minor daughters from those who would facilitate abortions for them.
Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, is Chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The Child Custody Protection Act (S. 403) would prevent those who have no legal responsibility from transporting teenage girls across state lines to evade states' parental involvement laws on abortion. Cardinal Keeler noted that legislation of this kind has been overwhelmingly approved several times by the House of Representatives.
"The Act will help protect parental autonomy in states with parental notification or consent laws on abortion," the Cardinal said. "It will allow parents to file suit in cases where their fundamental rights and responsibilities regarding the care of their children have been usurped by others. No one else—boyfriends, in-laws, counselors, friends—can substitute for the fundamental role of parents."
"The need to protect minors in these situations is compelling," Cardinal Keeler said. "Abortion can involve life-long emotional and physical trauma, particularly for young girls. In such situations, the love and support of families is critical 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."
Cardinal Keeler urged the Senate to oppose any weakening amendments to the Child Custody Protection Act.