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, but the Senate rebuffed the measure.

In 2005, the House passed the newly introduced CIANA, also by a substantial majority. In 2006, the Senate passed CCPA, with a solid bipartisan vote, 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, but the Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to approve a motion to end debate on that bill.

In general, the 2011/12 bill reflected the version of CIANA passed by the House later in 2006. When an abortion is performed to save the life of the minor, the physician, as specified in the second part of the law, is required within 24 hours to notify a parent that the abortion was performed and its circumstances. A physical health exception that was part of the 2006 bill is dropped. 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.

In 2012, CIANA was voted out of House committee and placed on the House calendar. No further action was taken in either chamber. The bill introduced in 2013 clarifies the definition of abortion.

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 February 14, 2013, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced CIANA (H.R. 732). The measure has 117 co-sponsors and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Senate: On February 14, 2013, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the companion CIANA bill (S. 369). The measure has 28 co-sponsors and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) associated himself with Sen. Rubio on the introduction S. 369, noting that the bill “is based on the belief that children should not make profound life-changing decisions by themselves and that parents are generally in the best and most responsible position to help them.” Sen. Hatch noted, “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, 2/14/13, S786).

During the discussion on the fiscal year 2014 Senate Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 8), Sen. Rubio offered Senate Amendment 292, which set forth findings and purposes of the CIANA bill and expressed the sense of the Senate, including that Congress should enact the measure. A point of order was raised against the amendment. On March 22, 2013, a motion to waive the objection failed, 48-yes, 51-no, a three-fifths vote in support being required (Roll Call 64). “Yes” was a pro-life vote.