U.S. House votes tomorrow on sex-selection abortion ban

May 29, 2012/WASHINGTON, DC --

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation's largest pro-life organization, today urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to go on record against "the escalating war on baby girls," by voting to pass a national ban on sex-selection abortions when the bill reaches the House floor tomorrow (Wednesday, May 30).

The legislation is a recently revised version of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) (H.R. 3541), sponsored by Congressman Trent Franks (R-Az.). The House will consider the bill under "Suspension of the Rules," which means that a two-thirds vote will be required for passage. The debate is expected around 2:30 PM EDT, and the vote at about 7:00 PM EDT.

In a letter sent this morning (May 29, 2012) to House members, NRLC quotes the recent observation of political economist Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute: "In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls."

The letter also cites studies that indicate the practice is becoming increasingly prevalent in the U.S., particularly within communities of immigrants from Asia. The letter notes that NRLC may include the roll call on H.R. 3541 in the NRLC congressional "scorecard" for the 112th Congress. The NRLC letter to the House is posted here.

The bill would make it a federal offense, punishable by up to five years in federal prison, to knowingly do any one of the following four things: (1) perform an abortion, at any time in pregnancy, "knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex or gender of the child"; (2) use "force or threat of force... for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection abortion"; (3) solicit or accept funds to perform a sex-selection abortion; or (4) transport a woman into the U.S. or across state lines for this purpose. However, "A woman upon whom a sex-selection abortion is performed may not be prosecuted or held civilly liable for any violation..."

NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, "Those lawmakers who recently have embraced contrived political rhetoric asserting that they are resisting a 'war on women' must reflect on whether they now wish to be recorded as being defenders of the escalating war on baby girls."


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