Republican Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) has introduced legislation that would make it illegal for minors to cross state lines in order to receive an abortion without parental knowledge or consent.
Say you were a minor in Idaho and you wanted an abortion. One of your parents would need to give their expressed consent before you underwent the procedure. If you wanted to have an abortion without their knowledge, then you could, in theory, go to neighboring Oregon, where there are no parental consent laws.
The proposed legislation would make such a move illegal, forcing healthcare providers to notify the parents and in some cases get their consent. There is no mention of a rape or incest exception. Ros-Lehiten said of the bill:
At a time where minors need to submit permission slips to go on a school trip, parents should not be left in the dark when their children have an abortion. Parental consent laws are in effect for a sound reason and crossing state lines should not negate the intent behind the law.
Below is a 2011 map of parental involvement laws, via the Center for Reproductive Rights. It gives you a pretty good idea of what the current political landscape still looks like for young girls.
Ros-Lehiten's track record on reproductive rights and abortion is grim.
- Voted yes to ban federal funding for health plans that cover abortion.
- Voted to yes to ban late-term abortions.
- Voted yes to make to make it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.
- Voted yes to expand a bill's "conscience clause" which protects physician training programs that refuse to provide training for abortion procedures.
She also sponsored similar legislation in 2005 and 2006; both versions passed the house.
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