Congressman Introduces New Bill Banning Sex-Selection, Race-Based Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 31, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressman Introduces New Bill Banning Sex-Selection, Race-Based Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 31
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A pro-life member of Congress introduced today a new bill that would ban sex-selection or race-based abortions. Congressman Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, held a press conference today with leading pro-life women and black Americans.

Responding to problems he pointed out, Franks has introduced the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit knowingly performing or financing sex-selection or race-based abortions.

Franks says the bill is needed because abortions on black babies are done at much higher rates than abortions on babies of other races.

"It is estimated that as many as 50% of African-American babies conceived in the U.S. each year" become abortion victims, he said.

Franks also noted that abortion centers are disproportionately placed in African-American communities and he pointed out that Planned Parenthood has come under fire for accepting donations from people claiming to want the abortion business to target blacks.

"Following the unearthing of the nation-wide race-targeted abortion donations, civil rights activists and African-American pastors from across the country protested government acquiescence in race-targeted abortion and the government funding of clinics that they believe are purposefully placed in the inner city and targeted to minority women," he said.

Franks also says the bill is needed to target sex-selection abortions and he highlights a national study showing the possibility that the practice of sex-selection abortions has made its way from Asia to the United States.

In April, researchers Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund of the National Academy of Sciences say their analysis of the 2000 Census shows the odds prematurely increasing for Asian-American families from China, Korea and India to have a boy if they already have a girl child.

The data "suggest that in a sub-population with a traditional son preference, the technologies are being used to generate male births when preceding births are female," they wrote in the paper.

"Based on the most recent census, sex-selection abortion is also taking place in the United States," Frank says.

Franks indicated a majority of Americans would likely support the bill and noted a 2006 Zogby International poll shows that 86% of the American public desires a law to ban sex selection abortion.

The poll surveyed a whopping 30,117 respondents in 48 states and was conducted from March 10-14.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life law firm, strongly supports the bill and it worked closely with Rep. Franks’ staff on the language of it.

“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless, least of all because a child isn’t of the preferred sex or race,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven Aden told

"There is nothing constitutionally protected or medically necessary about an abortion that takes place because a child is not the preferred sex or race. And there is nothing in the law or the Constitution that prohibits America from joining other civilized nations in prohibiting such barbaric procedures," he said.

“ADF commends Rep. Franks for his leadership in affirming the rule of law’s protection for every American, regardless of race or gender, beginning in the womb,” said Aden, who joined other congressmen and pro-life leaders at the press conference.

The race aspect of the measure struck a chord with a number of top pro-life African-Americans. Dr. Alveda King, Day Gardner, and Reverend Clenard Childress joined Franks at the unveiling of the bill to highlight this section of it.

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