WASHINGTON (July 26, 2006)—The U.S. Senate passed the Child Custody Protection Act (S. 403) by a vote of 65-34 on July 25. Deirdre A. McQuade, pro-life spokesperson at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), commended its approval and urged all Senators to expedite its passage into law.
"This act will keep teens from being pressured into abortions by those who have little or no investment in their health or long-term welfare," Ms. McQuade said.
The Child Custody Protection Act forbids taking teenage girls across state lines to evade laws requiring parental or judicial involvement prior to an abortion.
"The sense of the Senate matches the sense of the American people on this matter. Regardless of political party or general views on abortion, most Americans support such reasonable regulations for teenagers," Ms. McQuade stated. "In fact," she noted, "in a 2005 survey by the polling company, inc. /WomanTrend, 82% of respondents agreed that no one should be able to take a minor girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge."
"Secret abortions undermine parents' ability to care for their children in crisis, and put young girls at particular risk both physically and emotionally," said Ms. McQuade. "Abortion does not solve an adolescent's problems, but instead often compounds her fears, anxiety, and sense of isolation," she added.
Ms. McQuade also criticized Democratic leadership in the Senate for objecting at the last minute to appointment of a conference committee, a necessary step in enacting the bill into law. "I urge the Senate to work with the U.S. House of Representatives," she said, "to iron out differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill and send the best possible law to President Bush for his signature."