WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today pledged his support for a bill that would prevent the evasion of state parental notification laws regarding abortions. The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) would make it illegal to transport a minor across state lines with the intent of obtaining an abortion and evading the minor's home state parental involvement law.
"Many states have established laws to help protect life, and parents in these states have the right to know if their child wants an abortion and to counsel them as only a parent can," Johanns said. "This legislation would not alter any states' abortion laws, it would simply ensure that parents are notified if their child seeks an abortion in any state."
Currently, not all states have laws requiring parental notification for abortions for minors, which has led to minors crossing state lines to undergo abortions without parental consent. The bill would require abortion providers to notify a parent at least 24 hours before performing abortions for out-of-state minors. Exceptions to this law would be provided for minors with a judicial waiver from their home state, cases in which the minor is a victim of abuse or neglect, and in which the minor's life is in danger.
If enacted, the law would also give parents the opportunity to pursue legal damages against the individual who transports their child across state lines or the abortion provider if they do not receive the requested notification, unless the case involves incest. 22 Senators are cosponsoring the bill.