After research has shown that the practice of sex-selection abortion has made its way from Asian nations to the United States, pro-life advocates are moving forward with legislation to ban sex-selection abortions that target girl babies. The latest bill proposed is in the Louisiana legislature.
Rep. Lenar Whitney (R-Houma) has filed H.B. 701, the Louisiana Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) and it will be considered soon before the House Health and Welfare Committee. This bill, crafted using model legislation from National Right to Life, would prohibit abortion when based on the gender of the unborn baby and provide for civil actions against those who violate the law.
“It is sad that people in our world would kill unborn children simply because they are baby girls instead of baby boys,” Rep. Whitney said. “Louisiana, as a leader in protecting human life, has a responsibility through this legislation to ensure that this form of discrimination does not take place within our borders. I look forward to passing this legislation and placing it on Gov. Jindal’s desk for his signature.”
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In Washingto, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter is the sponsor of the federal version of the Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination Act, S. 48.
“It’s chilling to realize that many babies – almost always girls – are aborted purely as a method of selecting the opposite, preferred sex. That’s flat out wrong, but it happens regularly. I support Rep. Whitney’s Louisiana version of PRENDA, and I look forward to passing the federal version in the U.S. Senate,” said Vitter.
The new pro-life legislation has the support of Louisiana’s leading statewide pro-life group.
Ryan Verret, Associate Director of Louisiana Right to Life and the organization’s legislative captain, said, “Sex-selection abortion is the ultimate form of gender discrimination. We believe gender equality begins in the womb, and we are excited to work with Rep. Whitney to pass this important legislation.”
Verret told LifeNews that the use of abortion as a means of sex selection is a major social problem in a number of Asian countries, including China and India, where male children are widely preferred over females. He said it became so widespread in these countries it is now illegal, though sex selection remains a problem. Restrictions have also been placed on sex-selection abortion in countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
While the U.S. has no such restrictions, sex selection has increasingly becoming problematic, he added.
“A 2009 New York Times story cited several studies showing that Americans of Chinese, Indian and Korean descent retain a preference for sons and occasionally choose abortion because of it. And a 2011 article in Forbes reported on two abortion businesses located in areas of high Asian-immigrant populations that allowed researchers to interview their patients. According to the article, researchers found 89 percent of the women surveyed who were carrying girls aborted them. Half of those women said they had aborted girls before, and many of the women reported they were coerced into the abortion by threats of divorce and violence if they did not bear sons,” he explained.
So far, eight states – Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and North Carolina – have enacted laws prohibiting sex-selection abortion. Louisiana would be the ninth.