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What Is the Child Custody Protection Act?

The Child Custody Protection Act is a bill that may be passed soon regarding minors and their ability to obtain safe abortions.  The bill would make it a federal crime for anyone other than a minor's parent or legal guardian to knowingly take the minor across state lines for an abortion, unless the minor follows the parental involvement laws of her home state and the state to which she's traveled. 

What Are the Possible Consequences of the CCPA?

Since girls often cannot tell their parents that they have become pregnant for fear of emotional or physical abuse, many have sought abortions in a state without laws that require parental notification. The CCPA would make this impossible, because the minor and her transporter would have to comply with both the laws of the minor's home state as well as of the state in which she is seeking an abortion.

What States Would the CCPA Affect?

The CCPA would mainly affect states that require the parents of minors seeking abortions to be notified and give consent to the procedure: 

  • There are currently 24 states, including Texas and Pennsylvania, that have strict parental notification laws, and girls from all of these states would be unable to travel to another state for an abortion without getting consent from a parent or guardian. 
  • 10 other states, including South Carolina, have broader laws, which allow notification or consent from people like grandparents, relatives, or clergy members.  Girls from these states will not be affected by the CCPA as long as they travel with a consenting grandparent, family member, or other qualified adult.
  • 10 other states, including California, Illinois and Florida, have parental involvement laws that are either not enforced or are unenforceable.  Girls from these states will not be affected by the CCPA unless they travel to a state with parental involvement laws.
  • 6 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia do not have any parental involvement laws.  Girls from these states will not be affected by the CCPA unless they travel to a state that has parental involvement laws.
Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 07-28-2014 04:00 PM PDT

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