Senate rejects Rubio abortion bill

The Senate on Friday evening rejected a Republican amendment to the 2014 budget that calls for new criminal penalties for abortions performed on minors outside their home state.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) proposed an amendment to the budget that encourages passage of his Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. That bill makes it a crime to transport minors across state lines to obtain an abortion, and requires doctors to give 24 hours notice to parents before performing an abortion.

It calls for fines of up to a year in prison for doctors who perform abortions on minors from outside the doctors' home state without parental notification.

During debate, Rubio said that while abortion is a divisive issue, parental notification should not be.

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"[T]here's one thing not dividing us, there's one thing we're united behind as a people, and that is the idea that parents should know what their children are being involved in," he said.

In reply, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Rubio's bill does not take into account that many minors are too scared to tell their parents about an abortion they want.

"Under the Rubio amendment, a doctor and a grandmother would go to jail if the grandmother brought her grandchild across state lines… after she was raped," she said.

After speaking, Boxer raised a point of order against Rubio's amendment, saying it was non-germane. Rubio asked for a waiver from Senate budget rules, but the Senate voted 48-51 against waiving the budget rules.

Several Democrats voted in favor of waiving the budget rules, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

The Senate disposed of several other amendments Friday evening, from:

— Mark Begich (D-Alaska), to ensure funding for the labeling of genetically-modified fish. Passed voice vote.

— Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), to ensure funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program by $50 million. Passed voice vote.

— Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), to allow children in low-income families to benefit from federal education funding even when the children attend private schools. Failed 39-60.

— Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), ensuring funding for U.S. service members and veterans. Passed voice vote.