A bill that would have made it a crime to avoid parental involvement laws by taking a minor to another state for an abortion has stalled in the U.S. Senate, and its Republican sponsor says the issue is probably dead for this year.
A 54-45 procedural vote handed U.S. pro-life advocates their second defeat at the federal level in less than a week. Earlier, the Senate fell three votes short of overriding a veto by President Clinton of a ban on so-called partial-birth abortions.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America applauded the vote on inter-state transportation of minors, claiming the bill would have done “nothing to protect the health of teenagers or promote family communication.”
But Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee, said he was “dismayed that 45 senators voted with Clinton to kill legislation to protect young women and girls from harmful manipulation, often by much older, male boyfriends.”
The U.S. House of Representatives in July had voted 276-150 in favour of a similar bill, that would have made it a crime for anyone other than a parent or legal guardian to take a minor to another state without parental consent and notification laws for an abortion. More than 30 states now have such laws.
Family Research Council president Gary Bauer said abortions on minors without parental consent are “especially damaging” and “traumatic.”