NRL News

House Judiciary Subcommittee Hears Testimony on Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

by | Mar 10, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Reverend Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale

Over the years I have read some jaw-dropping comments from The Very pro-abortion, The Very Reverend Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, President and Dean, Episcopal Divinity School. But reading her testimony presented Thursday to a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing reminded me just how dedicated pro-abortionists are to expediting abortions for minors, come what may. That includes whisking them out of states with parental notification laws to states that don’t.

Chaired by Pro-life Congressman Trent Franks (R-Az), the subcommittee heard testimony on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) sponsored by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl.).The bill would require any abortionist to notify a parent before performing an abortion on a minor who is a resident of another state, with certain exceptions.

Prof. Teresa Collett

More than half of the states require notification of or consent from at least one parent, or authorization from a court, prior to performance of an abortion on a minor, but these laws are often avoided by minors who cross state lines, either on their own or with the collaboration of abortion providers and others.

In addition to the notification requirements, the bill also would make it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion without fulfilling the requirements of a parental involvement requirement that is in effect in the home state.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl.)

“CIANA is a critical piece of legislation that ensures that parental rights are upheld, while promoting the inherent dignity of the unborn,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “The majority of the American people and more than 30 state legislatures have made it clear that parents have the right to know whether their child is trying to undergo an abortion.”

There was excellent supportive testimony from Teresa Collett, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, and Michael J. New, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Prof. Collett explained that she has testified on similar legislation numerous times. “This bill is the culmination of a decade of Congressional efforts to ensure that young girls are not coerced or deceived into crossing state lines to obtain secret abortions,” she said. “All of these predecessors to H.R. 2299 were premised on what Justice O’Connor has called ‘the quite reasonable assumption that [pregnant] minors will benefit from consultation with their parents and that children will often not realize that their parents have their best interests at heart.’”

Prof. New explained that over 16 peer reviewed studies show that these parental involvement laws lower minor abortion rates. CIANA would make these laws even more effective, he said. Professor New also discussed research which documents that parental involvement laws lower teen pregnancy rates.

For her part the Rev. Ragsdale said not only did she oppose the legislation, but that the Episcopal Church “passed a resolution opposing parental-notification laws.” She talked of how she had taken a minor to an abortion clinic without her parents’ knowledge and, although it did not involve taking her across state lines, were CIANA to become law she’d break the law “in order to help her.”


“I have no choice because some years ago I stood before an altar and a Bishop and the people of God and vowed ‘to proclaim by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to fashion (my) life in accordance with its precepts…to love and serve the people among whom (I) work , caring alike for the young and old, strong ands weak, rich and poor.”

Apparently subverting parents’ rights and facilitating the destruction of the weakest of God’s children were not part of those precepts.

The CIANA passed the House several times in earlier years. The most recent House approval occurred in 2006, when it also received majority support in the U.S. Senate, but was blocked by a filibuster by Democrat senators.

On June 21, 2011, the CIANA also was introduced in the U.S. Senate by freshman Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) as S. 1241.

“State parental involvement laws have been undermined and circumvented by those who simply travel to other states,” Rubio said at the time. “It is important that this practice end permanently and states have the ability to enforce their laws.”

For more about the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), go to

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Categories: Legislation