In a blatant attempt to pacify his right-wing base, Majority Leader Bill Frist tried to attach a so-called "Child Custody Protection Act" to a vote on the minimum wage.
This Act, misleadingly named, would make it a federal crime for any person other than a parent - including a grandparent, aunt, or religious counselor - to accompany a young woman for abortion care in another state unless she has complied with parental involvement mandates in her home state.
But this bill doesnĺt take into account those young women who seek the help of a responsible adult other than a parent because of violence or abuse at home, or situations of rape or incest. In fact, this bill would actually force a young woman in such circumstances to go to the doctor alone, rather than be accompanied by a trusted adult.
Tell Senator Frist to stop playing politics with the lives of young women. Urge the Senate to protect underage survivors of rape, incest, and assault by rejecting the "Child Custody Protection Act."
This legislation would make it a federal crime for any adult other than a parent, including a grandparent, adult sibling, or religious counselor to accompany a young woman across state lines to obtain an abortion if the minor did not comply with the parental consent or notification law of her home state.
We all agree that it's always best for parents to be involved in a young woman's reproductive health decisions, and most parents are. Unfortunately some young women may need the help of another responsible adult because of the threat of violence at home, or if they have been raped or a victim of incest.
Major medical associations - including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American Public Health Association - have longstanding policies opposing mandatory parental involvement laws because of the dangers they pose to young women and the need for confidential access to physicians.
I strongly urge you to vote against the Child Custody Protection Act in order to protect the health and lives of young women in your state.
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