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 May 16, 2005
Senate to Consider Tightened Abortion Restrictions
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The U.S. Senate is to consider a bill just passed by the House of Representatives that would make it a federal crime to transport an under-age girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' consent.

On Wednesday, the House passed the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act by a vote of 270-157. Supporters say the measure would close a loophole that allows minors under age 17 to thwart restrictive abortion laws in their home states. Abortion-rights advocates say the bill would cut off an escape route for pregnant girls who are victims of rape or incest and make criminals of anyone who tries to help them.

The bill would impose a 24-hour waiting period for young women who travel to another state for an abortion, even if accompanied by her parents. It also contains an exception if the mother's life is in danger. Violators could face a $100,000 fine and a year in jail, The New York Times said.

The Senate is expected to consider the bill later this spring or in early summer. If enacted, it would be the fifth anti-abortion law passed since President Bush took office in 2001, the Associated Press reported.

Currently, 23 states require parental notification and another 10 make it legal for another adult to be notified if a minor wants to have an abortion. Seventeen states have no law restricting access to abortion for minors, the Times said.


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