WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced the Child Custody Protection Act, legislation which would make it a federal offense to transport a minor across a state line for an abortion if it would circumvent a state law requiring parental involvement in that minor’s abortion. 

“Parents have a right to be involved in the most important decisions that their children make.  A large majority of Americans believe that minors should not make such an important decision without the guidance of a caring parent,” said Senator Portman.  “This bill will strengthen the effectiveness of state parental notification laws and ensure that parents and their daughters fully understand the consequences of this decision.  There is no more pressing responsibility than to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.  I’m proud of my consistent pro-life record and I’m fully committed to protecting the sanctity of life.”

“Ohio Right to Life thanks Senator Portman for introducing this legislation. The Child Custody Protection Act is an important policy piece that will protect young girls from the predatory practices of the abortion industry,” said Devin Scribner, Executive Director of the Ohio Right to Life.  “Abortion has long-lasting, traumatic effects on women. It is critical that we enable parents to protect their children from that trauma by honoring and protecting their rights and responsibilities. Thank you, Senator Portman, for protecting the lives of unborn children, as well as the dignity of their mothers.”

NOTE: The Child Custody Protection Act would impose criminal and civil penalties in the form of fines or imprisonment up to one year, or both, for knowingly transporting a minor across a state line to skirt parental consent or notification law for abortion that is in effect in the minor's state of residence.  The bill does not change existing state laws regarding minors’ abortions, nor does it impose any parental notice or consent requirement on states that do not currently have parental involvement laws.  The Child Custody Protection Act deals only with interstate transportation of minors to circumvent existing state laws.  Ohio and a majority of states require parents’ involvement if their minor children have an abortion. Twelve states and the District of Columbia have no such laws on the books.  Minors who live in states bordering on these outliers are often transported across state lines for abortions as a way to get around their home-state parental involvement requirements, a fact that was confirmed by the fact-checking organization PolitiFact.

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