House Restricts Teenagers’ Right to Seek Abortion

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that prohibits non-parental adults from helping minors obtain an abortion out of state, bypassing parental consent laws in the minor’s home state. This law would not punish the girls seeking an abortion, but punishes adults with up to one year in jail.

Comparable legislation was passes last year by the House, but died in the Senate. If the Senate approves this bill, the President plans to veto it. In yesterday’s vote, the bill passed 270-159, with Congress divided among party lines.

Currently, many young women travel out of state to seek abortions. For instance, teenagers from Pennsylvania travel to New York or New Jersey and those from Virginia travel to Washington, DC.

Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey noted that “This bill could throw grandmothers in jail for helping their granddaughters.

There were several heated debates, but all agreed that “The real purpose of this bill is to make it as difficult as possible for a young woman to get an abortion.”


New York Times - July 1, 1999

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