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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, September 29, 2006

CONTACT:

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

National Abortion Federation Urges Senators to Vote "No" on Cloture
The Teen Endangerment Act (S. 403) would endanger teens and violate their constitutional rights

Saporta: We hope that Senators will realize the dangers of this legislation and the necessity for a full and fair debate. We are urging them to reject cloture.

In an eleventh hour maneuver, Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate has announced plans to bring the amended version of S. 403 to the Senate Floor. This callous legislation, more aptly called the Teen Endangerment Act, would endanger teens and violate their constitutional rights. In April 2005, the House of Representatives passed their version of the Teen Endangerment Act also known as the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA). The Senate refused to consider CIANA and instead passed S. 403, the Child Custody Protection Act in July 2006. Last week, the House of Representatives took up S. 403 and amended it to include provisions of CIANA that were not considered in the Senate. The Senate will be voting tonight on a cloture motion which must pass with 60 votes in order to allow the Senate to proceed with a vote on The Teen Endangerment Act. If this dangerous and unconstitutional legislation passes in the Senate, it would most certainly be signed into law by the President.

Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), released the following statement condemning this harmful legislation:

NAF strongly urges the Senate to vote against cloture. If the cloture motion passes, Senators will be forced to vote on this legislation without having had the opportunity to hold a hearing and explore the callous effects of the new provisions.

This new version of the Teen Endangerment Act creates additional harmful burdens for teens. Teens may be forced to comply with two different state's laws regarding abortion and/or encounter delays in having an abortion which can add additional risks to their health. In other situations, some teens who cannot involve a parent may not even have the option of seeking a court waiver in lieu of informing their parents.

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 teens who come from homes that are emotionally or physically abusive, or for many who are victims of rape or incest. Other teens may not want to involve their parents for fear of disappointing them.

Additionally, this callous legislation essentially requires doctors to become experts on each state's abortion laws. Under this provision, doctors are criminally liable if they provide abortion care to a teen from another state without first notifying a parent. The bill's requirements operate differently depending on the laws of the teen's home state.

This latest version of the Teen Endangerment Act continues to threaten the welfare of teens by isolating them from trusted friends and relatives and creating delays and burdens that could endanger their health. We hope that Senators will realize the dangers of this legislation and the necessity for a full and fair debate, and reject cloture.

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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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