The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which would have banned sex-selection abortions, failed by a 246-168 margin in the House of Representatives yesterday. PRENDA, which made a criminal offense of knowingly performing an abortion on a woman seeking it because of the gender of her fetus, was authored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). The Thursday afternoon PRENDA vote was held under a “suspension of House rules,” norfmally used only for noncontroversial legislation. In an interview with The Daily Caller, Franks said of his bill's failure to pass,
I think that it is hard for the other side to deal with this debate because, on the one hand, they realize that the country and even their own hearts tell them it is wrong to kill a little girl just because she is a little girl. But once they make that statement, then they have tacitly recognized that what is being done here is the taking of an innocent life.
In response to a question by Jake Tapper during a White House presser, deputy press secretary Jamie Smith said:
The Administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision. The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.
"So what's wrong with that? one might well ask. Well, the gist of Smith's response is a lie. Here's what the bill really has to say on the matter:
“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.”