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H.R. 748 (109th): Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 27, 2005.

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit transporting a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion (deems such transporting to be a de facto abridgment of the right of a parent under any law in the minor’s state of residence that requires parental involvement in the minor’s abortion decision). Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to safe the life of the minor. Protects from prosecution or civil liability the minor or the minor’s parents for violations of this Act.

Makes it an affirmative defense to a prosecution or civil action under this Act that a defendant reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the required parental consent or notification or judicial authorization took place.

Authorizes any parent who suffers harm from a violation of this Act to seek relief in a civil action.

Defines "abortion" as the termination of a pregnancy with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth, preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant female or her unborn child.

Defines "parent" to include a guardian, legal custodian, or person standing in loco parentis.

Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on a physician who performs or induces an abortion on an out-of-state minor in violation of parental notification requirements. Requires such physician to give 24-hour actual or constructive notice to the parent of a minor seeking an abortion. Allows exceptions if: (1) the physician complies with parental notification requirements in the physician’s state; (2) the physician is given documentation that a court in the minor’s state of residence has waived parental notification or otherwise authorized the minor’s abortion; (3) the minor provides a written statement that she is the victim of sexual abuse, neglect, or physical abuse by a parent and the physician notifies appropriate state officials of such abuse; or (4) the abortion is necessary to save the life of the minor.