House Rejects Ban On Sex-Selective Abortion

A Republican-sponsored bill that would have served to ban sex-selective abortions has failed to pass the House of Representatives on Thursday, the same day that Live Action, an anti-abortion activist group released an undercover video of an operative posing as a patient, who was seeking a selective abortion at Planned Parenthood.

The Huffington Post reports that the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which was authored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona), would have made it illegal and a federal offense to perform an abortion on a woman seeking to terminate her pregnancy based on the unborn baby’s sex.

If the bill had gone through, doctors who are aware that the woman wanted the abortion for this reason could be subject to criminal and civil action.

According to The Washington Post, lawmakers voted 246 to 168 on the bill, which would allow doctors to be punished with up to five years in prison. Twenty Democratic lawmakers voted for the bill, while seven Republicans voted against it.

In defending the PRENDA bill, Senator Franks stated that the legislation would allow lawmakers to fight “a war on unborn little girls.” He also noted that about 200 million abortions around the world are because of “sex selection.” These are more common in Asian and Eastern European countries though.

White House spokeswoman Jamie Smith said in a statement about the bill that:

“The administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision. The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.”

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