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March 5, 2012

House Obsession with Attacking Choice to Continue This Week

Washington, D.C. – This week anti-choice politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives will hold yet another hearing on a choice-related issue, giving Americans another example of just how out of touch they are with our country’s values and priorities.

“Some members of Congress are just obsessed with attacking women’s health at every turn,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “They’ve been ridiculed for holding a hearing on contraceptives that had an all-male panel. Just last week they lost a vote on contraception in the Senate. Now they’ve added another anti-choice hearing to the schedule. They are as shameless as they are out of touch.”

On Thursday, March 8, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA). This bill would make it a federal crime for anyone other than a parent to accompany a young woman out of state for abortion care. It also would force doctors to impose a parental-notice requirement on young women from out of state – under the threat of fines and prison sentences.

“We believe that loving parents should be involved when their daughter faces an unintended pregnancy and thankfully, most do. But in some tragic circumstances, young women cannot involve their parents because they come from homes where physical and emotional abuse are present or their pregnancies are the result of incest,” Keenan said. “Under this bill, a grandmother could be prosecuted for accompanying her granddaughter to a doctor in another state —even if that doctor is closest to the young woman’s home. Ministers helping a young woman in their congregation would face similar threats. This bill is not a solution; it is a callous example of government intrusion into tragic family circumstances.”

CIANA has been reintroduced as a free-standing bill in every Congress since the 109th, including earlier this session by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). This bill, or similar versions of it, has been introduced in every Congress for nearly 15 years. While the House passed CIANA in 2005, the Senate rejected it in 2006. Major medical groups, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American Public Health Association all have longstanding policies opposing mandatory parental-involvement laws because of the dangers they pose to young women and the need for confidential access to physicians.

Please see more information on CIANA and other similar proposals.

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