“It would “would prohibit anyone other than a parent—including a grandparent, aunt, adult sibling, or religious counselor—from accompanying a young woman across state lines for abortion care if the home state’s parental-involvement law has not been met.” “Trusted, caring, and responsible adults would be faced with the threat of prosecution if they responded to a request for help from a young woman who believes she cannot involve her parents (perhaps because of abuse in the home). This would further isolate teenagers in need, leaving them without adult assistance or guidance,” Ms. Copeland said.”Meanwhile the Violence Against Women Act, which was allowed to expire for the first time in the history of the legislation during the last Congress, was reintroduced. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced S. 47. This version of the bill is nearly identically to the version from the last Congress, with a few minor changes to revenue generating provisions regarding protection for immigrant victims of violence. Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Representative John Conyers, Jr (D-MI) introduced a companion version of the bill, HR 11, in the House. Hopefully Congress can act quickly to provide this important protection for women. But don’t worry, not all of the action is at the Federal level. In fact we expect most the restrictions to women’s rights to occur in the states. In New Mexico state Representative Cathrynn Brown introduced HB 206 which would charge a rape victim who chose to end her pregnancy with a third degree felony for “tampering with evidence.” The bill would essentially require rape victims to carry their fetus to term so that the fetus could be used as evidence. While Rep Brown claims that she introduced this bill to punish someone who commits incest or rape and then assists the victim in getting an abortion, the bill places the blame squarely on the victim. Fortunately, in New Mexico, Democrats have a majority in both chambers and the bill is unlikely to pass.
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