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House To Vote On Sex-Selection Abortion Ban

House To Vote On Sex-Selection Abortion Ban

Tomorrow the House of Representatives will vote on HR 3541, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) a bill that would impose criminal penalties on anyone who performs an abortion based on the sex of a child.

It’s a cynical bill and one designed as much to garner political points in trying to push back against the rhetoric of a Republican war on women as it is to legislate any real need. How do we know? A key sponsor is Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), also known for pushing a 20 week abortion ban for the District of Columbia despite not actually representing the constituents of D.C.

Democratic opposition
to the bill began immediately and with the bill’s original name, the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Non-discrimination Act. The original name reflected that the bill also sought to ban abortions based on the race of the child, but took out that language in committee. Republicans agreed to strike that language in the Judiciary committee, and also changed the name of the bill. Democrats argued in February that while the bill was named after these civil rights heroes, it has nothing to do with protecting civil rights. “It is offensive that the sponsors of this bill would invoke the names of two of our nation’s historic civil rights pioneers,” House Judiciary Committee ranking member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said.

Those changes didn’t make the bill any better, and as at least one advocate has pointed out, had the effect of simply highlighting the Republican hypocrisy in promoting an anti-abortion bill grounded in the language of supporting women’s rights.

Proponents of the bill like to argue this is the next wave of civil rights battles for women, but like all claims from the anti-abortion right, those assurances need a heavy dose of scrutiny. They fail to explain how such a claims will be investigated and proven–beyond sensationalized smear campaigns that is. Nor can they identify as any substantiated problem sex-selection abortion.

That is likely because there is no such problem and proof of sex a motive for aborting is notoriously impossible to pin down. Instead, the bill is designed to deter providers from offering abortion services out of fear of criminal prosecution which makes the bill nothing more than a cowardly and cynical end-run of women’s human rights.

Related Stories:

The GOP’s 10 Most Extreme Attacks On A Woman’s Right To Choose An Abortion

Could Banning Race-Based Abortions Mean Only White Women Get Access?

D.C. Rep Can’t Testify At Hearing Over D.C. Abortion Ban

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Photo from infowidget via flickr.

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23 comments

+ add your own
9:48AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Grazie per l'articolo.

9:59AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Killing an unborn human being is murder plain and simple.

6:35AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Thank you for the article...

12:26AM PDT on May 31, 2012

VERY FEW abortions in American are performed because of sexual preference. And if there really ARE some, so what?! It's none of your businesses! If a woman has 4 girls, is entering menopause, and wants one last chance to give her husband a boy instead of another daughter, and finds she's carrying twins - one boy and one girl - who of us can judge if she would give birth to two more mouths to feed, or keep the one her husband truly wants? It's done with UVF already... The sex of the embryo can be made available, when asked; and if the parents choose to have one or the other sex implanted in hopes the pregnancy will be a success, what right do any of us have to tell them they must just choose blindly when science has given us the ability to decide? Don't any of you think that if God hadn't wanted us to be able to make choices, God wouldn't have given us the ability to learn the sex of the child to be implanted or carried to term? I think all of you self-righteous people should stop talking for God, when he doesn't give us a two-way line.

10:45PM PDT on May 30, 2012

It all works out in the end. Apparently in China, there is now a serious shortage of women.

8:45PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Okay, ladies and gents (and you may quote me), all together now;
Come November, women will remember
Come November, women will remember
Come November, women will remember

8:44PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Kandy B.
“My son who is four happened to see an abortion commercial the other day while I was cooking dinner because of all this B.S. going on and he ran into me crying wanting to know IF they really took babies apart like that..asking the most hardest question of all.."Why..Mommy didn't their Mommy's love them enough"...I didn't have any answers and all I could do is hold him as the tears poured down his face...I have no words for how sick this makes me as a Mother. I could NEVER imagine hurting MY OWN child let alone ripping it from my body piece by piece..!”

Oh please, so who do you blame, the women who make difficult “PRIVATE” choices, or the anti-choice fanatics for the commercial that upset your ‘FOUR YEAR OLD SON?” What a bs story. That’s as true as that bs made up story of a father telling his son about the neighbor taking over the neighborhood to support invading Iraq.


8:43PM PDT on May 30, 2012

so to whom shall women send their menstrual blood to be inspected for evidence of any multiple zygotes that might not have attached to thier Uterine wall? so they can explain why this happened.

Terry O
“It may be hypocritical on the part of the Republicans to bring forward this bill but it is not right to dismiss it entirely as unnecessary. Recently doctors have been filmed in Briatain offering gender based abortions although it is illegal to do so (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17136213). It is mainly prevalent among Indians and Pakistanis who favour sons and wish to abort female foetuses.”

Yeah so? What does that have to do with US?


Kandy B.
“My son who is four happened to see an abortion commercial the other day while I was cooking dinner because of all this B.S. going on and he ran into me crying wanting to know IF they really took babies apart like that..asking the most hardest question of all.."Why..Mommy didn't their Mommy's love them enough"...I didn't have any answers and all I could do is hold him as the tears poured down his face...I have no words for how sick this makes me as a Mother. I could NEVER imagine hurting MY OWN child let alone ripping it from my body piece by piece..!”

Oh please, so who do you blame, the women who make difficult “PRIVATE” choices, or the anti-choice fanatics for the commercial that upset your ‘FOUR YEAR OLD SON?” What a bs story. That’s as true as that bs made up story of

8:36PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Rebekah O.

“A fetus heart is beating by 2 weeks of being conceived”

You obviously are not a dr.

{{{Fetal development: The first trimester
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prenatal-care/PR00112

Weeks 1 and 2: Getting ready

It might seem strange, but you're not actually pregnant the first week or two of the time allotted to your pregnancy. Yes, you read that correctly!

Conception typically occurs about two weeks after your period begins. To calculate your due date, your health care provider will count ahead 40 weeks from the start of your last period. This means your period is counted as part of your pregnancy — even though you weren't pregnant at the time.

Week 3: Fertilization

The sperm and egg unite in one of your fallopian tubes to form a one-celled entity called a zygote. If more than one egg is released and fertilized, you may have multiple zygotes.
Soon after fertilization, the zygote travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. At the same time, it will begin dividing rapidly to form a cluster of cells resembling a tiny raspberry. The inner group of cells will become the embryo}}} yes, i know whenever i see a raspberry i always think of a baby. maybe we should ban eating raspberries.

1:43PM PDT on May 30, 2012

What then happens if a woman is told the fetus's gender without asking for it? Is she then prevented from having an abortion because that would risk invocation of this law? How can one even presume to establish that gender was the reason for abortion?

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