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House Marks International Women's Day with Hearing on "Arrest Grandma" Act

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Happy International Women's Day!

So what did the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives do to honor women today?

If you guessed "held a hearing on yet another legislative attack on women's health," then you're absolutely correct.

This morning, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), a.k.a. the "Arrest Grandma" Act.

This bill would make it a federal crime for anyone other than a parent--say, a loving grandmother or clergy member--to accompany a young woman out of state for abortion care. It also would force doctors to impose a parental-notice requirement on young women from out of state--under the threat of fines and prison sentences.

The Very Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale spoke out against the bill.

She told the story of one young woman who came from an abusive home and was pregnant as the result of rape. Unable to turn to her parents for support, she turned to Rev. Ragsdale for help in seeking abortion care.

Under the "Arrest Grandma" Act, young women in similar situations could find themselves unable to turn to any trusted adult.

"Please don't outlaw the very help we want our children to have," Rev. Ragsdale pleaded.

The subcommittee's chairman, anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), responded by saying he hoped his daughter never met anyone with Rev. Ragsdale's philosophy.

Happy International Women's Day to you, too, Trent.

Fortunately, there were several pro-choice champions on the subcommittee to stand up for basic decency. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) all spoke out against this latest episode in the War on Women.

Anti-choice politicians sure have some crazy priorities: they follow up a month of outlandish attacks on women's health with a bill that could throw grandmothers and clergy members in prison.

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