Oklahoma State House Panel OKs Pro-Life Bill Prohibiting Sex-Selection Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
February 18, 2009
Oklahoma, OK (LifeNews.com) — An Oklahoma state legislative panel approved a bill on Tuesday that prohibits using abortions for purposes of sex-selection. The House Public Health Committee passed the legislation on a 20-2 vote and the measure also requires abortion practitioners to report certain information to the state health department.
Rep. Dan Sullivan, a Tulsa Republican, is the sponsor of the sex-selection abortion ban, which he says is designed to stop couples from using abortion as a method of obtaining the gender of the baby they want.
"As designer babies become more prevalent, we must do all we can to ensure unborn children are not killed simply because a dad always dreamed of having a son," Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he "hasn’t received any definite information that proves" that sex-selection abortions are happening in Oklahoma, but one report from last year suggests that may be the case.
Researchers Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund published a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences saying that, even though the practice of sex-selection abortions is most commonly associated with the cultural mores of Asian nations like China or India, it is happening locally.
The report says the influx of immigrants to the United States has brought the grisly practice here and census data is beginning to show a slight gender imbalance as a result.
Asian culture values sons as they are looked to for carrying on the family name and inheriting property and possessions. In India, girls are seen as an expense that poor and middle class families can’t afford due to costly dowries.
Sullivan also talked about the abortion reporting requirement aspect of the bill and said the state needs to be able to keep good statistics to help reduce abortions.
Under the bill the health department would put more abortion related statistics on its web site.
The bill now heads to the full state House for a debate and vote.
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