Congressman Moves to Ban Abortion Based on Gender, Race

Rep. Trent Franks (R- Ariz.) reintroduced his Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act to the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill seeks to outlaw abortions based on gender and race discrimination.

Lamenting the 200 million female babies aborted worldwide, Franks told The Christian Post, "That’s a genocide.”

In a letter to his fellow representatives on Monday, Franks wrote, “[T]he Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, or ‘PRENDA,’ … restricts sex-selection abortion and race-selection abortion, and the coercion of a woman to obtain either. The woman seeking an abortion is exempted from prosecution, while abortion providers are held to account."

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“Sex-selection abortion is happening in the United States. A study published in the April 2008 Journal of the National Academy of Sciences shows through U.S. Census data that certain segments of the U.S. population – particularly those coming from countries that practice sex-selection abortion – have unnaturally skewed sex-ratios at birth caused by sex-selection ‘most likely at the prenatal stages,’” the letter continues.

The U.S. Census shows that there is a “son-biased” ratio in the U.S. due to “sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stages.”

Furthermore, the study Franks refers to in his letter is a 2008 study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit reproductive health research organization. The conclusion was that more minority women in their 20s and 30s are having abortions while the number of white women having abortions has decreased. In fact, the report concluded that minority babies are being aborted at five times the rate of white babies.

The bill was initially introduced in 2009 and received support from both political parties. It moved to the House Committee on the Judiciary but it never came up for an official vote in the House.

The 2009 version of the bill defined sex-selection abortion as abortion “undertaken for purposes of eliminating an unborn child of an undesired sex. Sex-selection abortion is barbaric, and described by scholars and civil rights advocates as an act of sex-based or gender-based violence, predicated on sex discrimination.”

The bill defines race-selection abortion in much the same way, calling it barbaric. It is defined as “eliminating an unborn child because the child or a parent of the child is of an undesired race.”

The new bill is thought to be very similar to the 2009 version.

The bill will not prosecute the woman but rather will hold the abortion provider responsible if he or she knowingly performs an abortion that is sought on the basis of sex or race. The 2009 bill also included language that would prosecute anyone who used threats or force to persuade a woman to have an abortion based on sex and/or race as well as anyone who would solicit or accept funds for financing sex- or raced-based abortions. The bill stated that the prosecuted party would be fined and/or imprisoned for no more than five years.

“Anything that allows abortion is wrong, certainly abortion based on gender or race is wrong. I don’t think the bill is comprehensive enough, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Joe Scheidler, national director of Pro-Life Action League, told The Christian Post.

Scheidler’s hope that this bill will lead to an overall ban on abortions is what many pro-choice advocates fear.

“Many people say that I have a greater agenda in passing this bill. My response is that I don’t deny that one iota. I do have a greater agenda in wanting to protect all our unborn children. Regardless of the long-term implications, I believe we have a responsibility as Americans to stand up and say that unborn babies should not be killed because they are not of the favorable gender or race,” Franks told The Christian Post.

According to Franks, doctors have told him that abortions based on race or gender happen all the time.

“The future possibilities are incredible if a society starts deciding who will be born based on their genetic makeup. This bill will bring that issue to the forefront, and at the very least will generate a much needed dialogue.”

In America, 14 million African-American babies have been aborted since 1973, he said. "That means that one in two African-American babies are aborted.”

“If those facts don’t move our souls, I don’t know what will.”

Franks predicts that if the bill is brought up for a vote, it will most certainly pass in the House.

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