- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Feminist activists may find discrimination in the workplace deplorable, but they’re all for discrimination in the womb.

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday will hold a hearing on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which would prohibit abortions sought solely on the basis of the race or sex of the unborn.

Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum, is scheduled to offer testimony denouncing the nondiscrimination bill as “racist.”

“PRENDA threatens women’s health and perpetuates the racist myth that Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) families do not value girls,” Ms. Yeung said Wednesday in a statement. “Even though it is cloaked in language of civil and women’s rights, this bill is antithetical to gender and racial equality.”

“PRENDA is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” she said. “Rather than lifting the status of women, it is nothing more than a cynical, deceptive attempt to ban abortion.”

Ms. Yeung is not the only prominent women’s rights leader denouncing the anti-discrimination bill as discriminatory.

Marcela Howell, founder of the National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, concurred that the bill “perpetuates hurtful racial stereotypes about Black women.”

“The implication is that we are incapable of making ‘right’ and ‘sound moral’ reproductive health decisions,” Ms. Howell said in a statement. “Unlike the conservative GOP, we TRUST Black women to make the important personal decisions about abortion that are right for themselves and their families.”

And Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterStrong and director of the Trust Black Women Partnership, said the anti-discrimination legislation is couched in “racist and anti-immigrant stereotypes about women of color and constitutes a direct assault on Black motherhood.”

She also said the bill would discourage doctors from “providing care” in communities that have historically been “underserved” by the abortion industry.

Blacks make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but made up 36.7 percent of abortions in America in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, was founded by Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist who backed the sterilization of and immigration restrictions against “mental defectives,” pushed the “Negro Project” to reduce black birthrates, and tried to enlist the Ku Klux Klan women’s auxiliary in her eugenic efforts.

According to Protecting Black Life, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood surgical abortion facilities are located in neighborhoods within walking distance of heavily black or Hispanic neighborhoods.

Given the abortion industry’s disproportionate effect on the black community, the Rev. Clenard Childress, Jr., founder of blackgenocide.org, said it is ironic that a bill prohibiting discriminatory abortions is being denounced as “racist.”

“I would say that that person in the womb is the one being discriminated against,” he said. “I applaud the bill in that it is an incremental step in ending the discriminatory act of abortion.”

Mr. Childress, who is black, called the denunciations of racism a “political ploy.”

“When there are no scientific or rational reasons for your position, then cry racism,” he said. “It usually works.”

A poll conducted by the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute in 2012 found that 77 percent of Americans oppose sex-selective abortions, particularly in the case of girls.

Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, said sex-selective abortions are less of a problem in the U.S. than in other countries. In China, for instance, where boys are socially advantageous and sex-selective abortion was legal for several decades, there were 116 boys for every 100 girls born in 2014.

But Mr. Donovan said the law would still be beneficial for several reasons. He said it would allow America to denounce discriminatory abortion policies internationally; prevent prenatal discrimination before rapidly developing genetic technologies encourage the practice; and ease the stigma faced by historically disadvantaged groups who are the targets of discriminatory abortion practices.

He said opponents denouncing the law as racist are “grasping at straws.”

“Why should these rights apply postnatally, but never prenatally?”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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