A gender-based abortion bill that would have prohibited women from aborting a baby because of its gender was defeated this past Tuesday by Democrats on the California State Assembly Health Committee. According to LifeNews, the vote went down party lines, with all 13 Democrats present voting nay and all 5 Republicans voting yay.
The bill, entitled the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (AB-2336), was originally brought up on May 6 by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) in conjunction with the California ProLife Council. They argue that gender-based abortion is an antiquated idea that stems from a preference for male children. This argument might not actually be that far from the truth. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2011, in fact, “if Americans could have only one child, they would prefer that it be a boy rather than a girl, by a 40% to 28% margin.”
Unfortunately for them, Democrats were not having any sort of restriction on abortion. Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Culver City) argued the following:
“My constituents do not support this particular effort in restricting access to reproductive health services or interfering in that relationship that a woman has with her physician.”
Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) expressed a similar sentiment:
“The way the bill is crafted it seems to be a very significant roll back on a woman’s right to choose and that’s not something I’m prepared to support.”
The Committee Chairman, Dr. Richard Pan, also a Democrat, labeled the notion of gender-based abortion “abhorrent,” but still voted against the bill on the basis that it violates women’s rights.
California ProLife Council Executive Director Brian Johnston then attempted to prove that women from Far East countries, where a preference for the male gender still runs deep, come to California for no other reason than to seek out an abortion:
“It’s free in Califiornia. You don’t have to be a resident. You don’t have to be a citizen.”
However, research conducted by LA Weekly suggests that the anecdotal evidence he initially cited is incorrect, and that a massive gender-based abortion exodus from the East is in fact not occurring. Whether or not a non-citizen (or even an illegal immigrant, for that matter) can waltz into California and obtain an abortion for entirely free – it might be true, though more research would be required.
Regardless of the evidence, and regardless of the decision, a fundamental question still remains – is it moral for a woman to pursue abortion based on nothing more than gender? What do YOU think!?
And oh, if you want to watch the official hearing (which is admittedly rather long and boring), feel free to check it out below: