Keeping Children Safe
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests
Frank s Columns are available via Podcast.
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More than half of the states
have laws that require a parent of a minor to be notified before that minor can
obtain an abortion. Some of these parental involvement laws require the consent
of the parent; others only require that a parent be informed. Such commonsense
measures enjoy strong public support, and some polls put that support at above
Most who seek an abortion do
not do so because of “freedom of choice,” but because they feel they have no
freedom and no choice. In so many instances, the pregnant young girl has loving
parents, but is afraid of hurting or disappointing them. As a result, the very
people who can best help her are the last ones she wants to tell. Parental
involvement laws reconnect that frightened young girl with her own parents,
enabling her to discover that the fears she had about parental rejection were
unfounded, and enabling those parents to give their daughter the help and
guidance she needs.
Predictably, as a result,
studies have shown that such laws reduce the numbers of abortions in the places
where they are in force.
But abortion is a business,
and its practitioners act accordingly. Parental involvement laws make for bad
business at the clinics, which is why abortion advocacy groups oppose these laws
at every chance they get. Moreover, abortion clinics in states that do not have
such laws advertise that fact, and people take minors across state lines to
circumvent the law that requires parental involvement. Those most likely to
transport a minor in this way, of course, are adult men who have committed
statutory rape by having sexual activity with a minor. It has been well
established, through undercover investigative activity and evidence now
available to the public, that abortion clinics routinely assist sexual predators
to cover up this activity by refusing to report them to the authorities.
In order to protect the
welfare of minor girls and the rights of parents, Congress has a duty to
regulate this interstate activity. The House of Representatives already passed,
in April of 2005, a bill called he Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
(CIANA) (H.R. 748), which makes it a crime to transport a minor across state
lines to circumvent a parental involvement law.
In the Senate, the Child
Custody Protection Act (S. 403) is similar. It would make it a federal offense
to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion without fulfilling the
requirements of a parental involvement law in effect in the home state.
Pro-abortion legislators have
introduced amendments to the bill that would grant exceptions for incest, or if
a member of the clergy did the transporting. But one can gain “clergy” status in
a few minutes on the internet, and the law should be all the more ready to stop
those guilty of incest. Of course, the money the clinics make from abortion goes
in part to the political campaigns of the legislators who support it. The bottom
line again is business.