Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Are There No Coat Hangers?

With apologies to Charles Dickens. This is what the legislative arm of our country spends its time and the taxpayers' money on:

Senate Approves Bill That Would Criminalize Assisting Minors To Circumvent State Parental Notification Laws

The Senate on Tuesday voted 65-34 to approve a bill (S 403) that would allow federal charges to be filed against any individual who transports minors across state lines for the purpose of evading state abortion parental notification or consent laws, the Washington Post reports (Babington, Washington Post, 7/26). Under the bill, sponsored by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), people who violate the measure would be subject to a fine or up to one year in prison. The measure includes an exception if an abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant minor (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/24). Senate leaders last week agreed to vote on a small list of amendments to the legislation before a final vote, CQ Today reports. Senators on Tuesday voted 98-0 to approve an amendment, sponsored by Ensign and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), that would bar a father who rapes his daughter from suing anyone who assists in her abortion, as well as bars anyone committing incest on a minor from transporting a minor to another state to obtain an abortion, according to CQ Today. Boxer said the amendment is an "improvement" on the legislation, but she added that the bill still allows parental consent rights to fathers who impregnate their daughters and does not ban the criminal prosecution of people who assist minors who became pregnant through incest (Perine/Stern, CQ Today, 7/25). According to National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson, 26 states that have parental consent laws would be affected (Hulse, New York Times, 7/26). Minors or their parents could not be charged under the legislation (Washington Post, 7/26).

It's all about politics, the fundamentalist Christian type. All about who has the authority over young women. It's about closing every loophole so that young women can't have abortions unless their parents decide that they will. The sentence I bolded tells us all we need to know about the real intent of this law.

This message is brought back again here:

Supporters of the bill said it would prevent boyfriends and others from pressuring girls to have abortions, while opponents said the bill could harm girls' safety because some parents could beat their daughter if they found out she planned to undergo the procedure, the Post reports (Washington Post, 7/26). Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said that opponents of the legislation "want to strip the overwhelming majority of good parents of their rightful role and responsibility because of the misbehavior of a few" (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/26).

My bolding, again. That is such a vile statement, vile. The overwhelming majority of good parents will have good relationships with their children and can discuss the issue of abortion or its alternatives with them. It's the children without such parents that would try to avoid the parental notification requirement by going to another state, but now they will make anyone who would help them into a criminal.

Those teenagers are now all alone, unable to get help anywhere, except from their closets where the metal hangers still can be found.