- NAACP: Detroit water shutoffs are racially motivated
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Big milestone for Britain’s little Prince George who turns 1
- Murphy: Israel must be wary of Hamas using civilian deaths for recruitment
- Royce: Putin recruiting ‘every skinhead and malcontent around Russia’
- Nancy Pelosi is adamant: Congress worked together when Bush was president
- ‘Slender Man’ stabbing victim receives Purple Heart from anonymous veteran
- Kentucky city called socialist for buying gas station, undercutting competitor fuel prices
- Israel hits five mosques, sports complex in overnight Gaza strikes
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters’ questions on book tour
Bill would outlaw abortion for sex selection
‘War on baby girls’ claimed
Question of the Day
Congress is set to wade into one of the most sensitive topics in the abortion debate, with a House vote Wednesday on a bill that would ban abortions that are performed solely because of an unborn child’s sex.
Pro-life advocates say sex-selection abortion amounts to a “war on baby girls,” and maintain that the practice - which is outlawed but still common in countries such as India and China - is on the rise in the United States.
“The real war on women occurs every day all over the world, even here in the United States,” said Susan Armacost, legislative director of the Wisconsin Right to Life.
Worldwide, more than 100 million girls are estimated to be “missing,” and a first-of-its kind study by University of Texas economics professor Jason Abrevaya estimated that more than 2,000 girls were “missing” among Asian women who gave birth in California between 1991 and 2004.
But pro-choice advocates counter that the House’s Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) is just another attempt to curb the right to an abortion, and doesn’t address the underlying cultural and economic behaviors that feed the so-called “son preference” in some cultures.
“We will not be used as a weapon in the war on women,” said Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Sex-selection abortion bans haven’t worked elsewhere, she said, but South Korea saw its sex-ratio return to near-normal levels after the country changed property laws, expanded economic growth and launched a “Love Your Daughter” campaign.
The House bill would criminalize the “barbaric” practice of aborting a child solely because of its sex, and makes it illegal to coerce, fund or transport a pregnant woman to have such an abortion. Women who have such abortions would not face prosecution, and health-care providers would not be required to ask why a woman is having an abortion.
“This is an issue upon which all Americans should be able to find agreement, regardless of our party affiliations or even our beliefs about abortion,” said Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican and lead sponsor of the bill.
PRENDA is being brought to the House floor Wednesday under a fast-track procedure known as a suspension of the rules, and thus would require a two-thirds majority to pass - a tall order for the current body, which is split 242 Republicans to 190 Democrats, with three vacancies.
The measure would face even longer odds in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where most give it no chance of passage.
The House vote follows the release of a video taken surreptitiously in April at a Texas Planned Parenthood clinic by anti-abortion activist Lila Rose’s Live Action group, which purportedly showed an employee of the organization counseling a woman contemplating a sex-selection abortion.
In the video, released Tuesday, a pregnant woman says she and her husband plan to abort the fetus if it is female. The Planned Parenthood employee answers questions and offers advice.
At one point, the pregnant woman asks whether, instead of telling ultrasound technicians and other health-care officials that she will terminate the pregnancy if it’s a girl, “[I should] just keep it quiet and then come here?”
“Yeah, I would,” the Planned Parenthood employee replies, noting that other people might “judge” the woman. “I’m just trying to, you know, help you as much as possible with this,” the employee says, ending the visit with, “Well, good luck, and I hope that you do get your boy.”
The video is posted at protectourgirls.com.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- JAMA opinion piece calls for ending lifetime ban on blood donation by gay men
- HIV rate drops in U.S. for most groups; percentage for young gay, bisexual men up
- VH1's 'Naked Dating' outrages parents group
- Justina Pelletier talks to Republican lawmakers
- EEOC aims to stop discrimination against pregnant women
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters' questions on book tour
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- Blunder on the bases costly in D-Backs' 4-3 loss
- Nancy Pelosi: Congress worked together when Bush was president
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq