Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
Background: The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) was first introduced in Congress in 2005. CIANA has two parts. The first consists of an earlier, related measure, the Child Custody Protection Act (CCPA), which makes it a federal crime to transport a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion with the intent of circumventing the parental involvement law of the girl’s home state. The second part requires an abortion provider in a state without a parental involvement law to provide 24 hour notice to a parent or legal guardian before performing an abortion on a girl who is a resident of a different state.
The House approved CCPA in 1998, 1999, and 2002, with substantial majorities—276-yes, 150-no; 270-yes, 159-no; and 260-yes, 161-no, respectively—but the Senate rebuffed the measure.
In 2005, the House passed the newly introduced CIANA, also by a substantial majority, 270-yes, 157-no. In 2006, the Senate passed CCPA, with a solid bipartisan vote, 65-yes, 31-no, but Senate leadership objected to a conference with the House to resolve differences between the two bills. Later in 2006, the House passed a revised CIANA (S. 403), 264-yes, 153-no, but the Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to approve a motion to end debate on that bill, voting 57-yes, 42-no.
In general, the 2011 bill reflects the version of CIANA passed by the House later in 2006 (S. 403). It provides an exception if the abortion is necessary to save the life of the minor, and, in the second part of the law, the physician is required within 24 hours to notify a parent that the abortion was performed and its circumstances. An exception for the physical health of the minor that was part of this section of the 2006 bill is dropped in the 2011 bill. The parent who has committed an act of incest with the minor may not have recourse to civil action. A person who has committed an act of incest with the minor and transports the minor across state lines for an abortion shall be fined or imprisoned or both.
EndRoe.org provides a brief overview of U.S. Supreme Court cases addressing the application of Roe to state parental involvement laws: “The Court has struck down parental consent and notice statutes and ordinances if they did not contain a judicial bypass mechanism that would afford the pregnant minor the opportunity to avoid obtaining the consent of (or giving notice to) her parents or legal guardian. . . but has upheld statutes that contained an adequate judicial bypass. . . .” See “The Court’s Abortion Jurisprudence,” III. Applications of Roe, at: EndRoe.org/roeanalysis.aspx.
House: On June 22, 2011, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced CIANA (H.R. 2299). The measure had 172 co-sponsors and was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary.
In her introductory remarks, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen stated: “CIANA reflects the inviolable right of parents to guide their children’s upbringing. States have implemented parental notification and consent laws in recognition of this right. Yet, minors cross into other states to avoid these state requirements. CIANA would address this loophole by requiring that parents be notified before their children have abortions.”
Hearing: On March 8, 2012, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution (Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, Chair) held a hearing on H.R. 2299. Witnesses included: Teresa Collett, Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law; and Dr. Michael New, University of Michigan. Professor Collett stated: “The Child Interstate Parental Notification Act has the unique virtue of building upon two of the few points of agreement in the national debate over abortion: the desirability of parental involvement in a minor’s decisions about an unplanned pregnancy, and the need to protect the physical health and safety of the pregnant girl.” Dr. New summarized: “Based on the testimony I have given, I am confident the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act would lead to both fewer abortions and better public health outcomes for teen girls.” For testimony, see: judiciary.house.gov/hearings/Hearings%202012/hear_03082012.html.
Discharge: On March 22, 2012, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security was discharged from further consideration.
Markup: On March 27, 2012, the House Judiciary Committee (Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-TX) marked up H.R. 2299. The committee rejected 14 hostile amendments, and then approved the measure, 20-yes, 13-no. Chairman Smith noted that in the past CIANA has passed the House with large bipartisan support. “I hope and expect it will receive the same broad support this year.” For amendments and committee votes, see: nchla.org/datasource/idocuments/HouseJudiciaryCommittee-CIANAb.pdf.
Senate: On June 21, 2011, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the companion CIANA bill (S. 1241). The measure had 31 other sponsors and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
In his introductory remarks, Sen. Rubio stated that this bill “is supported by a broad majority of parents, who are in a much better position to help children with tough decisions than virtually anyone else.” Sen. Hatch added: “The majority of States have laws requiring parental involvement and, with its interstate component, this bill is a legitimate and constitutional way for Congress to help protect children and support parents.” Congressional Record, S3975 (June 21, 2011).
At year’s end, Congress had taken no further action.