What: All Issues : Family Planning : Abortion : H.R. 748. Abortion/Vote on Amendment to Exempt Grandparents and Members of the Clergy from the Provisions of Bill to Prohibit Anyone From Transporting a Minor Across State Lines to Seek an Abortion for the Purpose of Avoiding State Parental Consent or Notification Laws. (2005 house Roll Call 142)
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H.R. 748. Abortion/Vote on Amendment to Exempt Grandparents and Members of the Clergy from the Provisions of Bill to Prohibit Anyone From Transporting a Minor Across State Lines to Seek an Abortion for the Purpose of Avoiding State Parental Consent or Notification Laws.
house Roll Call 142     Apr 27, 2005
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

In this vote, the House defeated an amendment offered by Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) to H.R. 748. H.R. 748 was a bill to prohibit anyone from transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of avoiding state parental consent or notification laws to seek an abortion. Jackson-Lee's amendment would have exempted members of the clergy and a minor's grandparents from prosecution or civil liability (i.e., suit from, for example, a parent) under the bill. Progressives argued that adoption of this amendment would recognize that grandparents and clergy members should not be penalized by refusing to abandon young girls in desperate situations just when they are most in need of guidance from a responsible adult. They acknowledged that ideally, a girl would turn to her parents when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, but noted that "in the real world, there are situations where it is impossible for a minor to tell a parent about a pregnancy, for instance, in cases of incest, where the parents physically abuse their children or in the case that I mentioned . . . of the young 13-year-old girl whose father had raped her, found out she was pregnant, and murdered her." (Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).) Republicans countered that the bill as drafted provided an exception for cases of incest, and that the amendment would provide a way to circumvent the critical goal of ensuring parental involvement when a girl is pregnant. The House defeated the Progressive position and the amendment by a vote of 177 to 252, with 37 Democrats crossing party lines to vote against the amendment, while 13 Republicans joined Democrats to vote for it. Thus, members of the clergy and a minor's grandparents could still be prosecuted and/or sued under the bill's provisions for transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of avoiding state parental consent or notification laws to seek an abortion.

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