House Comittee Approves Bill to Ban Sex-Selection Abortions in the United States

Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona believes abortions based on race or gender should be outlawed. On Thursday, February 16, a House Committee approved Rep. Frank’s bill. According to Cronkite News, Franks thinks the issue is one of civil rights. “The effort of this bill here is to simply say we cannot discriminate against unborn children subjected to abortion.”

According to Cronkite News, the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011 (HR 3541) would:

1)   Make it a crime to knowingly perform abortions based on the sex or race of the fetus.

2)   Make it a crime to coerce a woman to undergo such a procedure.

3)   Make it a crime to solicit or accept funds to perform a selection abortion.

4)   Make it a crime to transport a woman across national or state lines for the procedure.

5)   Allow a woman to sue anyone who engages in such activity.

6)   Allow the father to sue anyone who engaged in such activity.

7)   Allow the maternal grandparent’ s to sue anyone who performed the procedure on their minor daughter.

8)   Impose penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine.

9)   Require medical professionals to report known or suspected cases, or face charges.

10)  Exempt a mother who undergoes such a procedure from criminal or civil charges.

Opponents of the bill were quick to question whether race or gender selection abortions are even occurring. But in an editorial in the January 16th issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. Rajendra Kale, the interim editor-in-chief noted “female feticide happens in India and China by the millions, but it also happens in North America in number large enough to distort the male to female ratio in some gender groups.”

Other opponents called the bill an attempt to give men power over women, citing the ability of the father of an aborted child to sue anyone who performed this type of abortion. This argument fails in light of the fact that this is an issue of the ending of life, not merely the removal of tissues and cells. Men have every right to stand up for life.

This commonsense legislation would accomplish two things:

  • If the opponents are right and no gender or race selection abortions are occurring, then the legislation will help prevent the practice from taking place in the future.
  • If the opponents are wrong and gender and race selection abortions are occurring as attested by Dr. Kale in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the legislation will help curb the tide of the practice.