Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed a proposed bill which would make it illegal for anyone who is not a pregnant teen’s parent to transport her across state lines in order to get an abortion. At first glance, this may seem like a good idea–ideally, parents should be involved in such a major medical and ethical decision. But after reviewing it further, there are so many things wrong with this idea.
The bill is officially known as the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act and is sponsored by Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who says its goal is to protect the rights of parents to be “involved in their children’s lives.”
Opponents of the measure are calling it the “Arrest Grandma” Act because it would make it illegal for a teen’s grandmother, aunt, friend or even boyfriend to take her to another state to get an abortion.
Let’s examine everything that’s wrong with this:
1. Not all teens live with their parents. It’s not uncommon today for a teen to be living with someone other than mom or dad, and there are a whole host of reasons for that, none of which should prevent a girl from being forced to reconnect with an estranged parent.
2. The bill makes no provisions for rape or incest. What happens if dear-old dad was the one who got her pregnant in the first place? Or another relative and the parents refuse to acknowledge this is happening?
3. What if the teen lives in a remote rural town where the nearest city and reputable abortion clinic is across the state border?
4. What if the teen lives with her parents, but they are deadbeat parents? Meaning, they don’t care about her life and refuse to support her with the necessary financial resources and transportation to have an abortion?
Like we have seen from a number of other anti-abortion bills lately, this is yet another example of one that claims to look out for the woman’s best interest, but in reality, it’s just another political move to try to secure votes.