President Barack Obama appears to oppose the ban on sex-selection abortions that the House of Representatives debated yesterday and will be voting on today.
ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper posted a new report indicating President Obama opposes the bill to prohibit performing or coercing abortions to eliminate unborn babies of an undesired sex. Tapper raised the question at Wednesday’s White House press briefing, but did not receive a response to his question about Obama’s position.
“I will have to take that as well. Been focused on other things, but I will get back to you,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said during the White House press briefing.
Now, Tapper reports on the ABC News web site The White House got back to me this evening [May 30] to say the president opposes the bill.”
White House deputy press secretary Jamie Smith told him in a statement: “The Administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision. The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.”
National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson was upset to learn Obama opposes the common-sense bill, telling LifeNews: “It is appalling, but not surprising, that President Obama now stands with the pro-abortion political committees and his Hollywood donors, rather than with the coerced women, and their unborn daughters, who are victimized in sex-selection abortions.”
Johnson says the White House statement falsely claimed that the bill would “subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations” for an abortion.
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The House will vote on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) (H.R. 3541) this afternoon.
The bill would make it a federal offense to knowingly do any one of the following four things: (1) perform an abortion, at any time in pregnancy, “knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex or gender of the child”; (2) use “force or threat of force. . . for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection abortion”; (3) solicit or accept funds to perform a sex-selection abortion; or (4) transport a woman into the U.S. or across state lines for this purpose. However, “A woman upon whom a sex-selection abortion is performed may not be prosecuted or held civilly liable for any violation . . .”
The bill also specifically states, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require that a healthcare provider has an affirmative duty to inquire as to the motivation for the abortion, absent the healthcare provider having knowledge or information that the abortion is being sought based on the sex or gender of the child.”
Obama’s opposition comes after after a new video exposing how Planned Parenthood encourages women to have sex-selection abortions, the House of Representatives will vote on legislation that would ban such abortions in the United States. A second video showing another Planned Parenthood clinic okaying sex-selection abortions has followed it up.
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.
Previously, abortion advocates not only opposed the bill in great hysteria but also denied the very existence of sex selection abortions. Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights, called it a “trumped up bill for a trumped up problem.” Meanwhile at the pro-abortion blog Jezebel, a writer called sex selection abortions “a problem rampant only in its rampant nonexistence.”
A recent poll conducted by the Lozier Institute found that 77% of respondents would support the enactment of laws prohibiting abortion in cases where “the fact that the developing baby is a girl is the sole reason for seeking an abortion.” Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Arizona already have laws on the books which prohibit this practice, according to the Lozier Institute.
Meanwhile, a 2006 poll showed a majority of Americans would likely support the bill. A 2006 Zogby International poll showed that 86% of the American public desired a law to ban sex-selection abortion. The poll surveyed a whopping 30,117 respondents in 48 states.