Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When a minor is pregnant...,CST-NWS-minor27.article

WASHINGTON -- Accompanying a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion and avoid parental notification in the girl's home state would become a federal crime under a bill the House passed Tuesday.
Republican supporters said the 264-153 vote confirmed public sentiment that parental involvement superseded a minor's right to have an abortion. Democratic opponents foresaw the arrests of grandmothers and religious counselors trying to shield girls from abusive parents.
Chances are slim that the House and the Senate, which approved a more limited version of the bill in July, will devise a compromise they can send to the president before the end of this Congress.
But the House vote gives House conservatives something to showcase when they return home next week to campaign for the midterm elections.
''It protects minors from exploitation from the abortion industry, it promotes strong family ties and it helps foster respect for state laws,'' said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).
The person transporting the minor across state lines would be subject to a $100,000 fine or one year in jail or both. About half the states have some kind of parental involvement law.
''Not since the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 have we used the powers of the federal government to enforce the laws of one state on the territory of another,'' said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), a leading opponent.


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