Tuesday, July 25, 2006

State News-Tuesday, July 25th

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate today is expected approve a bill that punishes anyone who helps a girl cross state lines to obtain an abortion without notifying her parents. The House passed the measure last year. Opponents say the bill cuts off an escape route for pregnant teens with abusive parents and punishes those who might try to help the youngsters. Marcia Caroll of Lancaster told a House panel last year that her pregnant 14-year-old daughter had decided to keep and raise her baby. But the boyfriend's parents drove her to a New Jersey abortion clinic to get around Pennsylvania's parental notification law. They then refused to take her home until she ended her pregnancy. The mother told lawmakers that a national parental notification law could have stopped it. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein says she'll introduce an amendment to protect confidants from prosecution. Polls suggest widespread public backing for the bill. Nearly three-quarters of respondents say a parent has the right to give consent before a child under 18 has an abortion. There are no reliable figures on how many girls try to cross state lines to end pregnancies to circumvent parental notification and consent laws back home.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Bob Casey says the federal government ought to pursue a higher minimum wage, more accessible health care and a balanced federal budget. In a speech today to the Pennsylvania Press Club, the Democratic challenger to U-S Senator Rick Santorum accused the senator of blocking those goals. Santorum's spokeswoman calls the speech "empty rhetoric" and says Casey distorted the senator's record by saying he voted 13 times against raising the minimum wage. She says Santorum favored aversion that would have increased the minimum wage while providing tax breaks to help small businesses. Santorum has trailed Casey in the polls by double-digit margins for months. But Santorum had raised more than 20 (m) million dollars through June, nearly twice as much as Casey.


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