U.S. House of Representatives to vote on ban today
President Obama comes out against ban on sex-selection abortions; National Right to Life says Obama “stands with the pro-abortion political committees and his Hollywood donors, rather than with the coerced women, and their unborn daughters, who are victimized in sex-selection abortions.”
WASHINGTON – ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper has posted an exclusive report that President Obama opposes the bill to prohibit performing or coercing abortions to eliminate unborn babies of an undesired sex – usually girls – on which the U.S. House of Representatives will vote this afternoon.
Tapper raised the question at Wednesday’s White House press briefing, but initially got no answer. However, Tapper now reports on the ABCNews website: “The White House got back to me this evening [May 30] to say the president opposes the bill.” Tapper reproduces a statement from a White House press aide: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/legislation-about-gender-selection-and-abortion-todays-q-for-os-wh-5302012/
NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, “It is appalling, but not surprising, that President Obama now stands with the pro-abortion political committees and his Hollywood donors, rather than with the coerced women, and their unborn daughters, who are victimized in sex-selection abortions.”
The legislation is the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) (H.R. 3541). The House will vote on the bill under “Suspension of the Rules,” which means that a two-thirds vote will be required for passage. The roll call is expected to occur before 3 PM EDT today.
The bill would make it a federal offense 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 . . .”
The bill also specifically states, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require that a healthcare provider has an affirmative duty to inquire as to the motivation for the abortion, absent the healthcare provider having knowledge or information that the abortion is being sought based on the sex or gender of the child.” The White House statement falsely claimed that the bill would “subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations” for an abortion.
NRLC has posted extensive information on the practice of sex-selection abortion in the U.S., and on the legislation, at its website here: http://www.nrlc.org/Sex-SelectionAbortion/index.html