July 26, 2006
Demonstration of Sanity
The Republican caucus of the United States Senate, and about a third of the Democratic caucus, having demonstrated unusual clarity and sanity by enacting the Child Custody Protection Act -- making it a crime for non-parental, non-guardian adults to transport a minor girl across state lines to procure her an abortion in violation of state parental-notification laws -- collectively deserve a Rumsfeld Award for actually making sane people feel good about government, for a change. (See last post.)
Here are the exceptions, both the bad (the four Republicans who voted against it) and the good (the fourteen Democrats who voted for it):
Republican weirdos who voted against S. 403:
- Lincoln Chafee, RI, 12%;
- Olympia Snowe, ME, 32%;
- Susan Collins, ME, 32%;
- Arlen Specter, PA, 63%.
Democrats who had at least one moment of sanity in their careers by voting for this act:
- Evan Bayh, IN, 95%;
- Robert Byrd, WV, 95%;
- Thomas Carper, DE, 90%;
- Kent Conrad, ND, 85%;
- Byron Dorgan, ND, 100%;
- Daniel Inouye, HI, 90%;
- Tim Johnson, SD, 95%;
- Herb Kohl, WI, 100%;
- Mary Landrieu, LA, 95%;
- Bill Nelson, FL, 80%;
- E. Benjamin "Ben" Nelson, NE, 55%;
- Mark Pryor, AR, 90%;
- Harry Reid, NV, 100%;
- Ken Salazar, CO, 100%.
Just so readers can see how astonishingly rational, non-hysterical, and yes, sensitive the Senate was to the principals involved in such cases, both parents and the girl herself, I think we need to read the law itself (click the second link, the one that reads "[S.403.ES].") Trust me, it's surprisingly short for a product of the United States Congress!
Here is the operative part:
Sec. 2431. Transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion
`(1) GENERALLY- Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever knowingly transports a minor across a State line, with the intent that such minor obtain an abortion, and thereby in fact abridges the right of a parent under a law requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion decision, in force in the State where the minor resides, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
`(2) DEFINITION- For the purposes of this subsection, an abridgement of the right of a parent occurs if an abortion is performed on the minor, in a State other than the State where the minor resides, without the parental consent or notification, or the judicial authorization, that would have been required by that law had the abortion been performed in the State where the minor resides.
`(1) The prohibition of subsection (a) does not apply if the abortion was necessary to save the life of the minor because her life was endangered by a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
`(2) A minor transported in violation of this section, and any parent of that minor, may not be prosecuted or sued for a violation of this section, a conspiracy to violate this section, or an offense under section 2 or 3 based on a violation of this section.
`(c) Affirmative Defense- It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for an offense, or to a civil action, based on a violation of this section that the defendant reasonably believed, based on information the defendant obtained directly from a parent of the minor or other compelling facts, that before the minor obtained the abortion, the parental consent or notification, or judicial authorization took place that would have been required by the law requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion decision, had the abortion been performed in the State where the minor resides.
`(d) Civil Action- Any parent who suffers harm from a violation of subsection (a) may obtain appropriate relief in a civil action, unless the parent has committed an act of incest with the minor subject to subsection (a).
I hope this lays to rest the lion's share of absurdist attacks on this law by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), by foaming-at-the-mouth Democrats, and by abortion absolutists on various blogs (including the comments section of this blog). It does nothing more than make it a federal crime to deliberately bypass state laws by procuring an abortion for a minor without parental knowledge. This prevents perpetrators from quashing prosecution by challenging state jurisdiction.
If that's "an irresponsible action that will do nothing to protect young women's safety or improve family communication," as Nancy Keenan, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, characterized it, then words no longer have any meaning at all.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 26, 2006, at the time of 2:51 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1037
The following hissed in response by: FredTownWard
This certainly looks to be the very definition of a "common sense" restriction on abortion that only Femi-Nazis or pro-abortionists rather than true pro-choicers could possibly oppose. What's more, thanks to the replacement of O'Connor with Alito, it has a good chance of being upheld even if Bush DOESN'T get another SCOTUS pick because the only even semi-rational possible argument against it would be to strike down the laws requiring parental notification or consent NOT to say it is perfectly OK to circumvent them by transporting minors across state lines.
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Excerpted and linked at Old War Dogs.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at July 27, 2006 3:51 AM
The following hissed in response by: AcademicElephant
This is truly worthy program, Dafydd. Bravo.
The above hissed in response by: AcademicElephant at July 27, 2006 4:32 PM
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