Marco Rubio Takes the Lead in Defending Parental Notification Laws
Florida Republican joins Orrin Hatch in defending laws on minors and abortions
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Rubio joined with U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a veteran of the Senate who is under fire from the tea party and facing a serious primary challenge next year, to sponsor the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA).
The legislation that Rubio and Hatch proposed would make taking a minor into another state to receive an abortion a federal crime if this is done to avoid parental notification laws. CIANA would also ensure that abortion providers notify parents of minors from other states looking to have an abortion performed. The proposal, which will have a difficult time passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate, would not be applied to medical emergencies.
“The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act would help prevent the evasion of parental consent and notification laws in 36 states,” Rubio said on Tuesday. “State parental involvement laws have been undermined and circumvented by those who simply travel to other states. It is important that this practice end permanently and states have the ability to enforce their laws.”
“I’m proud to stand with Senator Rubio in introducing this important legislation that is based on the belief that children should not make profound, life-changing decisions by themselves and that parents are in the best and most responsible position to help them,” said Hatch. “It includes appropriate exceptions and safeguards in order to focus on what unites the vast majority of Americans, that parents should be involved before their child has an abortion. This bill is a legitimate and constitutional way for Congress to help protect children and support parents.”
Currently there are 35 states that have parental consent laws on the books, while 11 others -- including Florida -- require at least one parent be informed when a minor seeks to have an abortion.
Hatch could be looking to get his conservative credentials in order in time for 2012. First elected in 1976, Hatch has been a fixture of the Senate since then -- serving as chairman of both the Judiciary Committee and what was then called the Labor and Human Resources Committee.
Hatch made a brief bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, bowing out after a weak showing in the Iowa caucus. Fresh from having defeated then-U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett in his bid for renomination in 2010, tea party activists have increasingly taken aim at Hatch in Utah. It is expected that U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz will challenge Hatch for the Republican nomination in 2012.
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