Rubio Among Senators Introducing Abortion Notification Bill

Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 04:21 PM

By Cyrus Afzali

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio Thursday joined fellow Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch to sponsor the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which they say is designed to give states the authority to ensure parents are notified before any minor receives an abortion.

Sixteen additional Republican senators are co-sponsoring the bill, which is also being introduced by Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in the House. The sponsors say that while there are a variety of state laws requiring parental notification, differing laws in neighboring states often make those laws ineffective.

The bill is designed to standardize notifications and would prohibit transporting a minor to obtain an abortion in another state in an effort to avoid parental involvement in the minor’s state of residence. It would also require abortion providers to notify the parents of any minor who has traveled outside their state for the purposes of an abortion before the procedure could be performed.

Editor's Note: Click Here to Get 'An American Son', Marco Rubio's Memoir

Rubio said current laws allow minors to be exploited and face potential safety risks from “an overzealous interstate abortion industry.”

“With the rights of parents and the safety of our daughters at risk, Congress must take action to prevent underage abortions by giving states the federal backing necessary to enforce parental involvement laws,” Rubio said. “These laws allow teenagers to receive the advice and guidance of a loved one before undergoing a procedure for which they may not be medically or emotionally prepared.”

McConnell, the Senate minority leader, said just as any medical procedure involving a minor requires parental notification, so too should an abortion.

“As parents, we are responsible for our children. Parental involvement is almost always required before a child can receive medical treatment and it should also be required when their minor daughter is taken across state lines for an abortion,” he said. “I believe that every life has worth and I will continue to push for legislation that protects innocent life.”

Hatch said sponsors of the bill believe parents should be permitted to help their children make decisions, especially a “profound and life-changing” decision, such as an abortion.

“We’ve taken into consideration appropriate exceptions and safeguards and we feel that this is legislation the vast majority of Americans can agree on,” Hatch said. “This bill is a legitimate, Constitutional way for Congress to address this issue and help protect children and support parents.”

Ros-Lehtinen, called the bill “the right step in protecting parental rights and ensuring that young girls have a safer, healthier, and brighter future.”

Editor's Note: Click Here to Get 'An American Son', Marco Rubio's Memoir


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