- June 30 - Following is a statement by Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood
Federation of America:
Today the House of Representatives
passed H.R. 1218, the so-called Child Custody Protection Act, 270-159. Under the
guise of protecting young women, the bill would curtail women's access to legal
abortion even as it would attempt to legislate forced communication among families.
Planned Parenthood encourages
young women to involve their parents when they face an unintended pregnancy and
are considering an abortion. Most do so, even when not required by law. Yet, not
every family is a model family. Minors who are victims of abuse or incest do not
tell their parents, and will not, even if Congress tells them to.
This legislation would make
it a federal crime to transport or assist a minor across state lines for an abortion
unless the parental consent requirement of her home state had been met. Persons
convicted would be subject to imprisonment, fines, and civil suits.
If passed and enacted, this
bill will isolate a minor from family members, friends, and other responsible
adults at a time when she most needs someone to turn to. Fear of prosecution would
deter responsible, caring adults from helping a minor in a difficult situation.
This seriously obstructs the ability of young woman to obtain safe and legal abortions,
and puts them and any responsible adults who attempt to assist them at additional
risk when they exercise their constitutional right to do so.
The anti-choice leadership
of the House Rules Committee decided yesterday not to allow any amendments to
be offered to this harmful legislation. Some of the amendments rejected by the
Rules Committee were:
-- An exception to allow
grandmothers, grandfathers, and members of the clergy to accompany the young woman.
-- An exception for pregnancies
resulting from rape or incest, or if the health of the minor is at risk.
Legislators are stampeding
over the rights of the young in a cruel effort to deny women reproductive freedom.
If Congress really wants to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, they
would support comprehensive sex education for minors and family planning for all.
They would not impose artificial
and dangerous barriers to safe abortion.