March 3, 2000
I am writing to urge your support for the Child Custody Protection Act (S. 661), which is identical to legislation overwhelmingly approved by the House last summer.
This legislation affirms parents' right to protect their minor daughter from those who have no legal responsibility for her, and who unilaterally decide that a secret abortion is her best "option." The disturbing and growing practice of boyfriends or relatives transporting teenage girls across state lines to evade states' parental involvement laws on abortion is reason enough for quick passage of the Child Custody Protection Act.
The Act seeks to protect vulnerable teens by allowing parents to file suit in such cases to vindicate their fundamental rights and responsibilities regarding the care of their children. This will help protect parental autonomy in states with parental notification or consent laws on abortion. No one else -- boyfriends, in-laws, counselors, friends -- can usurp the fundamental role of parents.
The need for protecting minors is compelling. Abortion can involve life-long emotional and physical trauma for women, particularly young girls. In such situations, the love and support of families is critical and needs to be encouraged. Parents should not be kept in the
dark when the welfare of their children and their unborn grandchildren is at stake. Many states have wisely chosen to protect parents' rights in this area, and the intent of their protective laws should not be thwarted.
When this bill reaches the Senate floor, I urge you to vote in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act.