Franks, who is one of Congress’ most dependable legislators on life issues, said he hoped the bill would go beyond merely raising the awareness of the problem of sex- and raced-based abortions, to the horrible reality at the very heart of the murderous procedure. “I truly hope that the debate and passage of this bill will call all Americans — inside and outside of Congress — to an inward and heartfelt reflection upon the humanity of unborn babies and the inhumanity of what is being done to them,” Franks told reporters.
Franks noted the now well-known fact that abortion is the number-one killer of African-Americans. “The result of abortion on demand in America today is that between 40 and 50 percent of all African-American babies — virtually one in two — are killed before they’re born.”
Steven Mosher, founder of the pro-life Population Research Institute, pointed out that as the Asian population has grown in America, the tradition in Asian countries of preferring male over female babies has led to an epidemic of sex-based abortions in America. “Little girls are being sacrificed in the United States by the tens of thousands,” Mosher told CBN News. Mosher’s organization has documented how China’s official one-child policy has led to the wholesale slaughter of female babies in that country — a trend that is now threatening America. “This is the worst form of sex discrimination,” Mosher said. “It’s a form of sex discrimination that kills, and it deserves to be banned.”
Predictably, the bill has faced opposition from pro-abortion groups and spokespersons, who argue that the measure is discriminatory. “This bill places unfair scrutiny on African-American and Asian-American women around our motives for seeking abortion care,” Miriam Yeung of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum testified at a hearing on the bill.”
Nancy Northup, president of the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, called PreNDA a “trumped up bill for a trumped up problem,” adding that it is a “cynical and offensive attempt to evoke race and sex discrimination when actually it’s about taking women’s rights away.”
And Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said she believed that the “true aim of the bill is to restrict the pregnancy decisions of black women rather than protect them from alleged coercion.”
Nonetheless, Steven Aden of the pro-life Alliance Defense Fund predicted that should the bill become law, it would be able to survive a legal challenge all the way to the Supreme Court. “This bill strikes at commercial activity, not personal private choices,” Aden explained. “Under the bill, no woman can be sued or prosecuted for having an abortion based on the gender or race of her baby, but the abortionist can, and that’s the key.”
Franks based the bill on two findings, according to CNSNews.com. The first, a 2008 study by Columbia University economists Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund, reported the conservative news site, “found ‘evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage,’ after examining the ratio of boys to girls among certain segments of the population. The second finding comes from the Guttmacher Institute that black women have an abortion rate that is nearly five times that of white women — the highest rate of any ethnic group in the country.”
Franks said that racial disparity with regard to abortion in the United States is undeniable, noting that about “80 percent of the clinics of Planned Parenthood are in minority neighborhoods.” As for sex selection, “it’s a little easier to quantify [and] I can tell you that it’s thousands per year,” he said. He noted that while the boy-to-girl ration for first-born children among certain ethnic groups in the U.S. is statistically about what it should, “the second child has a higher likelihood of being a boy,” a troubling statistic, he argued.
Testifying before the congressional hearing on the bill, Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) cited a recent study from the University of Southern California of Indian-American women who had sought sex-based abortions. He noted that many of the women testified of abuse at the hands of their husbands when it was found that they were carrying female babies. “Some husbands have even reportedly withheld food and water from their wives,” Chabot testified. “Some hit, punched, choked, and kicked the women in the abdomen, attempting to forcibly terminate the pregnancy.”
Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, said that it is “outrageous in a nation where we’re so interested — and appropriately so — in protecting women and minorities, yet we turn such a blind eye to the fact that children are being aborted just based on their skin color, just based on the fact that they’re little girls.”
She added that “there are over 100 million girls missing in the world because they were killed for one reason: because they were girls.”
Photo: Rep. Trent Franks