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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881

House to Vote Today on Teen Abortion Restrictions

National Abortion Federation Opposes the Teen Endangerment Act

Today, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the so-called "Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act," or as it is more appropriately called, the Teen Endangerment Act. "This bill jeopardizes the health of young women by isolating them from caring, compassionate, and supportive adults in a time of need," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation.

The Teen Endangerment Act (TEA) would criminalize any adult other than a parent, including a grandmother, aunt, or older sister, for helping a young woman cross state lines in order to obtain safe and legal abortion care. In addition, the bill contains no health exception and in some cases mandates a delay of 24 to more than 72 hours before a teen can obtain abortion care - even if accompanied by a parent.

Congress went even further by imposing different rules for teens depending on her state of residence and the state where she seeks to obtain abortion care. TEA would trump state law by, in some cases, imposing waiting periods and notice requirements on states that have chosen not to impose such restrictions. "Some young women could be subjected to two separate judicial bypasses in different states, which creates an undue burden and could delay access to abortion care," explained Saporta.

"This law restricts not only young women, but abortion providers as well," said Saporta. "Doctors would have to comply with the new federal notice requirement by providing in-person written notice to a parent. And only after 'reasonable efforts' are made - which are not defined - could doctors provide notice by a specified form of mail delivery. This process would lengthen the delay for teens seeking care."

"Creating a law that jeopardizes the health of teens is not good public policy," said Saporta. NAF encourages legislators who care about the health and safety of teens to vote against H.R. 78.

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The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible.
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