Senate Committee OKs Child Custody Protection Act

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to make it a crime to avoid state parental involvement laws on abortions by going to another state.

The panel voted 10-6 to send the bill to the full Senate. Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., has said he wants to get it to President Clinton before Congress adjourns in October.

A day earlier, the House voted 276-150 in favor of an identical bill but failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to override a threatened White House veto.

The bill makes it a federal misdemeanor for someone other than the parent or legal guardian to evade laws by going to a state that imposes no restrictions on minors seeking an abortion.

Pro-life Sen. Spencer Abraham, R-Mich., the sponsor, said parental consent and notification laws in more than 30 states are too often circumvented, sometimes with tragic results when a parent isn't present when complications arise. Others have said the bill will protect girls from older men who get them pregnant and take them elsewhere to end the pregnancy and hide the misdeed.

"This practice must stop because it's wrong," Abraham said.

Pro-life Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the bill will ensure that state laws are adhered to, adding that "it's a measured, necessary and I think reasonable effort," he added.

ACTION: Contact your Senators and urge them to support the Child Custody Protection Act. You can find contact information in the Contacting Congress section of the Armchair Lobbyist:

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