Sponsor, Pro-Lifers: Democrats Blocked Sex-Selection Abortion Ban

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 1, 2012   |   11:10AM   |   Washington, DC

The sponsor of the ban on sex-selection abortions in the House of Representatives, leading pro-life members of Congress and leaders of top pro-life organizations are unified in their response to yesterday’s vote on the bill:  Democrats blocked it.

“Indeed, the same Democrats who are so frequently heralded as ‘progressives’ today refused to make the United States the very last civilized nation on Earth to outlaw aborting a little girl simply for being a little girl, even as the human family on Earth is today missing 200 million baby girls, thanks to the grisly practice the majority of my colleagues across the aisle couldn’t find it in their hearts to condemn,” says Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican behind the bill.

“I am heartened that so many of my colleagues came together to, in an overwhelming majority, support the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act,” Franks said. “Though it did not secure the two-thirds majority necessary to pass under suspension rules, I am confident that this is not the end, but merely the opening salvo in ensuring the words, ‘It’s a girl,’ are no longer a death sentence for so many unborn girls.”

“I also note the sad and bitter irony that President Obama, who has disingenuously accused Republicans of a so-called ‘war on women,’ mustered a truly breathtaking display of hypocrisy in opposing a bill that would prevent aborting those little babies who have the ‘nerve’ to be little girls,” Franks added.

Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio chimed in: “I’m disappointed. This is a bill that basically is about sex selection for abortion.  Abortion is wrong at any level, but to condone someone wanting to end a life based solely on the sex of their child is horrendous. This is an assault on women. This is gendercide.”

“The House’s failure to pass a federal ban against sex-selection abortion is a sad day for America and a frightening one for girls and women,” said Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania. “If ever there were a war on women in this country, the practice of sex-selection abortion would be the ultimate pre-emptive strike, taking the lives of innocent baby girls simply because they are girls and not boys. That’s the most reprehensible form of gender discrimination imaginable and it’s a crime against girls and humanity that needs to be stopped.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the nationwide pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, also blamed Obama and his Democratic allies.

“President Obama and 168 absolutist members of Congress chose to stand with the abortion lobby rather than defend women from the lethal discrimination of sex-selective abortion. It strikes me as grossly hypocritical that President Obama and his allies lament the so-called ‘War on Women,’ and yet fail to defend those women most in need – unborn daughters and the mothers coerced into sex-selective abortion,” she said.

Dannenfelser promised to remember the votes this November.

She said, “Our President and the leaders of his party are now on the record as being diametrically opposed to an overwhelming majority – 80 percent – of American women who support a ban on sex-selective abortion. The SBA List plans to ensure that come November, women will remember who failed to stand up for them.”

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, also placed the blame at the feet of Democrats in Congress and the president.

“We are heartened that a strong majority of House members voted to ban performing or coercing abortions for the purpose of eliminating unborn babies of an undesired sex – usually, girls,” he said. “Shamefully, President Obama, and a minority of 168 House members, complied with the political demands of pro-abortion pressure groups, rather than defend the coerced women, and their unborn daughters, who are victimized by sex-selection abortions.”

“We commend the House Republican leadership for bringing this bill to the floor today under the fast-track procedure. Today’s groundbreaking majority vote was a stepping stone to this bill ultimately becoming law – perhaps after the replacement of some of the lawmakers who today were unwilling to protect victimized women and their unborn daughters from sex-selection abortions, because they were more concerned with maintaining favor with the abortion industry, pro-abortion advocacy groups, and Hollywood donors,” he added.

The House defeated H.R. 3541, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits abortion on the basis of the unborn baby’s gender, a problem recently highlighted by undercover videos released by Live Action showing a Planned Parenthood clinic staff member instructing a woman how to obtain a late-term sex-selective abortion.

The legislation needed a two-thirds vote and Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the legislation after President Barack Obamaand Planned Parenthood came out in opposition. With a 246-168 vote, the bill did not obtain the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. Republicans voted for the bill on a 226-7 margin while Democrats opposed banning sex-selection abortions on 161-20 vote margin.

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, the bill says “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 came after a new video exposing how Planned Parenthood encourages women to have sex-selection abortions. 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.

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