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White House Endorses Discriminatory Practice

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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.”

And while the bill does provide penalties for any physician who performs sex-selection abortions, these are imposed only if the doctor is aware that the abortion is being sought for sex-selection reasons.

It is beyond any civilized human’s comprehension why the Obama administration would oppose the proposed Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011; after all, sex-selection abortion is already prohibited in Britain, from whom the US has adopted most of its legal framework. One would think that Mr. Obama, a self-described constitutional scholar and a black man, would support opposition to any discriminatory practice in the Land of the Free. 

Ironically, Planned Parenthood, which has long proclaimed its defense of women, particularly in regard to abortion rights, has aligned itself with the administration in opposing this bill which seeks to end the reprehensible war on women that is the sex-selection abortion.

So now the USA is descending to the barbarism of China and India. Oh, wait! Didn’t China outlaw sex-selection abortions recently?

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About Clavos

Raised in Mexico by American parents, Clavos is proudly bi-cultural, and considers both Spanish and English as his native languages. A lifelong boating enthusiast, Clavos lives aboard his ancient trawler, Second Act, in Coconut Grove, Florida and enjoys cruising the Bahamas and Florida Keys from that base. When not dealing with the never-ending maintenance issues inherent in ancient trawlers, Clavos sells yachts to finance his boat habit, but his real love (after boating, of course) is writing and editing; a craft he has practiced at Blogcritics since 2006.
  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    This would be an interesting experiment: introduce legislation with essentially the same wording as in the recently rejected legislation but substituting “race selection” for “sex selection.”

  • Clav

    Hmm. Interesting idea, Dan(Miller).

    Wonder if Marco Rubio would be willing?

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Clav, as you doubtless recall, in Trial by Jury the judge was faced with an allegation by the plaintiff in a breach of promise marriage suit that when the defendant became tipsy he would beat her. The Judge’s solution was to the evidentiary problem was, “Let’s make him tipsy, gentlemen, and try.”

    Does Marco Rubio drink?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    This bill was essentially little more than an attempt to intimidate women.

    It was toothless and therefore useless. All a woman would have had to do was to deny that she was having an abortion for sex selection reasons, and the law would have been powerless.

    There’s quite enough stupid legislation on the books already. Good riddance.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    The bill was right up there with the “Let’s ban Sharia law from being implemented in government” laws that several Republican legislatures have been pushing in their efforts to build jobs, jobs, jobs for the economy.

    Clavos, the bill was just wedge-issue politics and nothing more – I’m really surprised you couldn’t see it for what it was.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    If you don’t think it was wedge-issue politics, perhaps you should look at the Southern states that are passing bills that would essentially require a woman who miscarries to PROVE that it was accidental, that it wasn’t murder or negligent homicide. Tennessee passed just such a bill, too. What were the Republicans saying in 2010? Oh, yeah – it was “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

    Okay? It’s time for government to get OUT of the business of regulating what women do and don’t do with their wombs. WOMEN know what is best for women. But of course, the House GOP seems to think that women don’t need to be consulted when it comes to women’s health issues.

  • Igor

    …and next year they ban abortions of males. Etc.

  • Clav

    It’s time for government to get OUT of the business of regulating what women do and don’t do with their wombs.

    Absolutely agree with you.

    As long as the government ALSO gets OUT of the business of my private decisions as well. For starters, they can stop trying to regulate what we eat, stop prohibiting recreational drugs, stop coming up with such intrusive and asinine ideas as defining and prohibiting speech, etc.

    But that will never happen, because if they were to do so, they’d lose all their power over us, unless they could get (or keep) us on the welfare, disability or unemployment doles.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Don’t change the subject, Clavos – you wrote an article wherein the government WOULD be involved in whether abortions could or could not be had, but now you’re agreeing that government should be out of the business of regulating what women do and don’t do with their wombs.

    Can’t have it both ways, friend – choose!

  • Clav

    Abortion of males would probably greatly improve the race. Most of what’s historically gone wrong in the world has been at the hands of men, not women.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Agreed…but you still can’t have it both ways.

  • Clav

    Why not? Obama and Romney do.

    You’re discriminating against me; violating my civil rights.

    If that handsome, articulate inept guy in the White House can do it, why can’t I? Oh, wait, i know why — sorry, forgot my place for a second there.

    Carry on.

  • Zingzing

    This headline is worthy of fox news. The proposed law is silly and meaningless, just abortion politics at play, nothing more. And the framing of it as being automatically against females… Hrm. It is a dumb reason to get an abortion, but it’s just an attempt to make abortion laws so sticky that you can’t have one for this reason and that reason and this other reason and that one over there, and when does it end? It doesn’t, and that’s the right wing trying to be clever little shits and no one needs it.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Why not? Obama and Romney do.

    Ah, go easy on Romney, Clav. He just wants what’s best for Amercia.

  • Igor

    I suppose that in Romneys estimation what’s best for America is what’s best for Bain Capital, so the country should be liquidated, it’s assets sold off, and the proceeds returned to Bain where he will get a 20% commission, as capital gains, so that he gets a favorable tax rate.

  • http://www.passionoftruth.blogspot.com Pam Messingham

    Isn’t this totally pointless when you can’t even determine the sex of a baby until 20 weeks and they are trying to limit abortions at 16?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    Pam’s got a good point – that’s Arizona’s new law she’s talking about.

  • Arch Conservative

    The left’s “it’s not a baby it’s a ball of cells argument” kinda flies out the window when you show up on Planned Parenthood’s doorstep saying “I want an abortion because it’s the wrong sex.”

  • Zingzing

    Never mind that most abortions happen well before the gender is known and that females are born with more frequency since abortion was legalized And that there’s no evidence one gender is aborted more often than the other in the us…