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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, July 20, 2006

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881
press@prochoice.org

The National Abortion Federation Urges Senators to Vote Against the Teen Endangerment Act

Washington, DC - With the Senate expected to take up the Teen Endangerment Act today, Vicki Saporta, the President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, released the following statement:

The Child Custody Protection Act (CCPA), more aptly called the Teen Endangerment Act, has been introduced each legislative session since 1998 by anti-choice members of Congress. However, this is the first time this callous legislation will be on the Senate Floor.

CCPA would make it a federal crime for a person other than a parent to help a minor from certain states obtain an abortion in another state if the minor has not fulfilled the parental involvement requirements of her home state. Trusted aunts, sisters, grandmothers, clergy, counselors, and friends could be fined or imprisoned for helping a teen who may be a victim of family abuse, rape, or incest. This bill would prevent teens from seeking the help they need and disregards the fact that teenagers' individual family circumstances differ. Additionally, as with previous iterations, this most recent version does not include a constitutionally adequate health exception.

In most instances, parents know about a teen's decision to terminate a pregnancy, whether or not the family lives in a state with a parental involvement law. Unfortunately, parental involvement is not a realistic option for young women who come from homes that are emotionally or physically abusive, or for many who are victims of rape or incest. This legislation would endanger teens by eliminating safe alternatives to parental involvement - such as turning to a grandmother or clergy member - and may instead lead teens to pursue dangerous alternatives.

We call on Senators to vote against this callous, unconstitutional legislation and protect our teens.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org

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