Keeping Children Safe

 

Fr. Frank Pavone

 
  7/31/2006
 

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 80%.

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.