Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act Receives Broad Bipartisan and Coalition Support
April 1, 2009 – Yesterday, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) and a bipartisan group of approximately 30 bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Susan B. Anthony/Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, or “PreNDA,” to end sex-selection abortion and race-selection abortion in America. Based on the most recent census, sex-selection abortion is taking place in the United States. A March 2008 report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that there is “strong son bias” and “clear evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage.” A 2006 Zogby International poll shows that 86% of the American public desires a law to ban sex selection abortion. Furthermore, a report by the Guttmacher Institute analyzing 30 years of data finds that a black baby is approximately five times more likely to be aborted than a white baby; and according to the CDC, 70% of abortion clinics are placed in minority neighborhoods.
The full text of the remarks made by Congressman Franks at the press conference is attached. Below are quotes from cosponsors and groups supporting the legislation.
“While some point to the distinctions of “sex” and “race” within the human family, in reality these intrinsic elements are themselves proof of our membership within the human family. Yet today, as many as 100 million women in the world are now demographically missing because of sex-selection abortion. Evidence from the most recent U.S. Census shows that sex-selection abortion is now occurring in the United States. Moreover, one in two black babies are aborted, which is nearly five times the rate of that of white women. Taking the lives of unborn children because they are the wrong sex or color is against everything our founding fathers dreamed America would become. It is time to reject the discriminatory disgrace of aborting a child based on race or sex, and reignite the Founders’ vision of an America that holds that all of God’s children have a right, given by Him, to live and to be free and to pursue their dreams.” –Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-02)
“I believe that abortion hurts women and that all women deserve better than abortion. Yet there is another dimension to the abortion debate that is unconscionable to reflect upon. Abortion is the leading cause of death for African-American children. Abortion clinics target the heart of urban minority communities, and more than twice as many Black children are eliminated through abortion than born. Nearly 100 million unborn girls have been put to death simply because they are girls. This bill addresses this profound injustice, and I am proud to support it.” –Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
“Congress has repeatedly criticized other nations for promoting sex-selection abortions – and rightfully so. But, Congress has yet to do anything to end the practice right here in the United States. Every child deserves the chance to live – little girls every bit as little boys. Every child has the right to life – regardless of race. The fact that federally funded institutions perform abortions based on sex and race in 2009 is abhorrent and we must put an end to it today.” –Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-06)
“Every human life is valuable and deserving of protection. It is particularly offensive when we discover that some in our society are systematically killing our most vulnerable citizens on the basis of their gender or race. Congress has repeatedly condemned China in official resolutions for its policies that encourage sex-selection, yet Congress has failed to take any action to prevent this type of discrimination from occurring within this country.” –Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
“In a nation marred by the battles of eradicating slavery and advancing civil rights for women and minorities, we cannot sanction the killing of babies simply because they are of an undesired race or sex? Although U.S. law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in various contexts, including the provision of employment, education and housing, African American babies are still openly targeted and discriminated against. To date, no state has enacted a law to prohibit race-targeted abortions or the solicitation—or acceptance of funds for purposes of financing race-targeted abortions. Therefore, it is paramount that the federal government set a precedent to ensure that there is protection for these children. A person must not be denied life because of the color of his or her skin. We must eliminate racism wherever it lives and PreNDA will help to do just that.” –Day Gardner, President, National Black Pro-life Union
“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless, least of all because a child isn’t of the preferred sex or race. Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, may have approved of such barbarities, but we believe most Americans don’t. There is nothing constitutionally protected or medically necessary about an abortion that takes place because a child is not the preferred sex or race. And there is nothing in the law or the Constitution that prohibits America from joining other civilized nations in prohibiting such barbaric procedures.” –Steve Aden, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund
“There are 100 million “missing girls” in the world. “Missing” because they were killed for one reason – they were girls. Technology is now used to detect the sex of a child in the womb and that has lead to sex-selection abortions. While other countries have outlawed sex-selection abortions it is still ‘open season’ on little girls in the U.S. Those who commit female feticide openly advertise in newspapers and magazines. Condoning sex-selection abortions feeds the idea that women are less valuable than men and objects to be degraded. The ultimate discrimination is to kill someone. Yet in the U.S., a country that abhors sex discrimination, it is legal to abort a child because she’s a girl. Concerned Women for America is grateful to Rep. Trent Franks for introducing a bill to end the worst form of sex discrimination.” –Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
“Whatever differences we Americans have amongst ourselves when it comes to abortion in “hard cases” such as pregnancies resulting from rape or those that may adversely affect the health of the mother, we should all be able to agree that killing a child in the womb because she happens to be female or have an African-American parent is an appalling act of invidious discrimination. Sex-selection and race-selection abortions should be unlawful in the United States of America. Period. Children of both sexes and those of every race, color, and ethnicity should be fully protected by law against this literally lethal violation of their civil rights.” –Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University. Member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. Former presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
“Sex selection abortions are more graphic examples of the damage that abortion inflicts on women. In addition to increasing premature labor in subsequent pregnancies, increasing suicide and major depression, and increasing the risk of breast cancer in teens who abort their first pregnancy and delay childbearing, sex selection abortions are often targeted at fetuses simply because the fetus is female. As physicians who care for both the mother and her unborn child, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists vigorously opposes aborting fetuses because of their gender.” –Donna Harrison, President, American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists
“That abortion is legal here in America is heinous in and of itself, but to have sex selected, and race selected abortions is deplorable, and is contradictory to all that our constitution represent. We in the black community thank God that Congressmen Franks is fighting to address an unreported evil practice fuel by the 1.8 billion dollar abortion industry in America.” –Sr. Pastor Stephen E. Broden, Fair Park Bible Fellowship, Dallas, Texas
“Many Asian Americans are concerned that the practices of sex selected abortions have permeated our culture in the U.S. The measure proposed by Congressman Trent Franks and his colleagues is a move in the right direction to protect women’s rights.” –Eilleen Cosby, Filipino Family Fund
Congressman Franks is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, Military Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, Constitution Subcommittee, and is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.