Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) used a procedural move yesterday to block the recently passed Teen Endangerment Act from being sent to a Congressional conference committee to reconcile the House and the Senate versions of the legislation. Sen. Durbin is concerned that Senate Republicans who were sent to serve on the conference committee would be likely to pass the House version of the legislation, which is considered much more restrictive than the Senate version. The House version would penalize physicians who perform an abortion on a minor, knowing she did not comply with parental notification/consent laws.
The Teen Endangerment Act, officially known as the Child Custody Protection Act, is legislation that would make it a federal crime for any person, such as a grandparent or a member of the clergy, other than a parent or legal guardian to accompany a minor across state lines to have an abortion to avoid the home state’s parental notification and/or consent law.
Senate Republicans need 60 votes to remove the blockade and send both pieces of legislation to a conference committee. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) claims to have the 60 votes necessary, though he has not said when he will override the blockade, according to Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Report. The bill passed in the senate with 65 votes.