A Bi-Partisan Assault on Teenage Girls

Rainbow Lake, New York

Life for teenage girls in the US of A took a dark turn this past week. On Wednesday April 27, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would strengthen state statutes in over two-dozen states that currently require clinics to obtain parental consent before they treat a female under the age of eighteen.

The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (H.R. 748) passed with eager bipartisan support. Over fifty House Democrats voted in favor of the anti-choice measure. The bill, which was put forward by a right-wing Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, would make it a federal crime to transport a female minor to an clinic in a state where parental involvement laws are not as strong as those in the state where the girl resides.

“This legislation will close a loophole that allows adults not only to help minors break state laws by obtaining an abortion without parental consent, but also contributes to ending the life of an innocent child,” boasts Rep. Ros-Lehtinen.

President Bush also sang his praise for the passage of the House legislation. In a statement released on April 27, Bush remarked, “The parents of pregnant minors can provide counsel, guidance, and support to their children and should be involved in these decisions. I urge the Senate to pass this important legislation and help continue to build a culture of life in America.”

Lucky for Dubya, he may not have to ‘urge’ the Senate too hard.

It is difficult to imagine Democrats standing up to this assault on abortion rights. For their own Minority Leader Harry Reid has a long squalid history of voting against a woman’s right to choose.

The pro-choice advocacy group NARAL has awarded Senator Reid a failing report card on more than one occasion. NARAL claims Reid has voted against choice 71% of the time he’s been given the opportunity. They point out that Reid has gone as far as to favor giving personhood to fetuses, as he demonstrated when he voted in favor of criminalizing the harm done to an unborn fetus during an assault crime. And as a senator, he voted “yes” to banning partial birth abortions as well as in favor of outlawing abortions on US military bases.

Why would ol’ Reid stop there? Teen girls sure seem like his next logical target.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Reid’s arch nemesis (sic), said in a statement released after the bill passed in the House, that he expects a Senate vote later this summer. “No matter how [many] people it affects, it’s an important bill on the principles,” he said.

Unfortunately, Frist and Reid share the same anti-choice principles. Looks like a lot of teenage girls in the US are going to be shit-out-of luck if they find themselves expecting. After all, what to do about the pregnancy is going to be a parent’s decision, not their own. And of course, if an impregnated teen needs state assistance to help out with the kid she is forced to have — she’ll be shit-out-of luck too.

Welcome to America. Land of the controlled. Home of the insane.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, to be published by Common Courage Press. You can pre-order a copy at discounted rate at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at: Joshua@BrickBurner.org.


JOSHUA FRANK is the managing editor of CounterPunch. He is the author of the new book, Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America, published by Haymarket Books. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank.