Hearing to Focus on Sex-Selection, Race-Based Abortion Ban

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 5, 2011   |   5:58PM   |   Washington, DC

A congressional panel will hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation that would ban abortions in the United States if they are done because the unborn child is a certain sex or race.

The bill highlights a problem that most people know plagues Asian nations like China and India but studies have shown the practice of sex-selection and race-based abortions has come to the United States as well.

Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee Constitution Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is the sponsor of the abortion ban, will hold a hearing on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA). The measure, H.R. 3541, is also called the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act.

Witnesses on the panel include Steve Aden, a pro-life attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, Edwin Black of the Feature Group, Miriam Yeung of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute, who is considered one of the foremost experts on the one-child policy in China.

Mosher, an internationally recognized demographer and authority on China’s one-child policy, which has resulted in the abortion and infanticide of tens of millions of Chinese infant girls, told LifeNews that he strongly supports the bill, which he says will prohibit knowingly performing or financing sex-selection or race-selection abortions.

“Sex-selection abortions are occurring in the U.S.,” says Mosher. “For example, there are unusually high percentages of boys being born to Asian-American families, suggesting that some unborn girls are being eliminated in utero.”

Aden, who also favors the bill, commented on it saying, “Every innocent life deserves to be protected, and that’s especially true of babies being targeted for death simply because of their sex or race. There is nothing medically necessary or constitutionally protected about an abortion that is committed on the basis of sex or race.”

In a prepared statement requested by the committee, Aden explained that “the Supreme Court has made it clear that States have a compelling interest in eliminating discrimination against women and minorities…. H.R. 3541 is conceived and drafted pursuant to sound constitutional authority and the best tradition of this nation’s commitment to civil rights and equality for all of its citizens.”

The bill would also outlaw the practice of profiting commercially from abortion on babies of a certain sex or race if the purpose is to target that sex or race. The bill applies only to persons who commit, finance, or coerce a sex- or race-selection abortion and does not allow for prosecution of the mother.

Meanwhile,  Congressman Steve King of Iowa, Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana and Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio are holding a joint press conference with Day Gardner, National Black Pro-Life Union, Reggie Littlejohn, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, Penny Young Nance, Concerned Women for America, and Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Christian Defense Coalition, to highlight support for the legislation.

Maggie Gallagher, director of the Culture War Victory Fund is also supportive of the bill.

She told LifeNews today: “Targeting babies for abortion based on their gender or race is not only barbaric, it is a clear violation of the 14th Amendment’s solemn guarantee of ‘equal protection of the laws.’ The more American voters learn about the practice—and Congress’ failure to stop it—the more concerned they are going to be.”

“The war on baby girls is an issue that crosses all the business-as-usual lines of race, creed, ideology and party,” added Gallagher. “86 percent of Americans agree it’s wrong.  Let’s come together and put a stop to it. The first step is co-sponsoring BRENDA.”

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.

A few years ago, a national study showed the possibility that the practice of sex-selection abortions has made its way from Asia to the United States. 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.

Meanwhile, a 2006 poll showed a majority of Americans would likely support the bill. 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.

The hearing will convene at 1 p.m. in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building.