The so-called Child Custody Protection Act (S. 1645/H.R. 3682) would impose federal criminal penalties on any person who takes a young woman across state lines to obtain an abortion if she does not first comply with her home state's parental involvement law. The effect of this proposed legislation would isolate a young woman from her family, friends and other caring adults at a time of crisis when she is particularly vulnerable and in much need of support.
No one disputes that it is preferable for young women to consult their parents above reproductive health decisions, and most do. According to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, most adolescents talk with their parents about these sensitive issues. Moreover, even in states that do not mandate parental involvement in young women's abortion decisions, the majority of teens do involve their parents.
However, not every family is a model family. Divorce, separations -- not to mention abuse and neglect -- make difficult situations for young women even tougher. This bill would place young women who are unable to talk to their parents at risk -- and make criminals of the people they turn to for help. ...
Amy D. Simons,Augusta