'Race & Gender-Based' Abortion Bill Is a Distraction From Real Issues

house of representatives chamberRep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) doesn't seem to have his priorities straight. Despite the real issues Americans are facing today -- hmm, let's see, the economy being in the dumper, thieving banks and corporations having a stronghold on our politicians through campaign financing, the dire need for new, cleaner sources of energy, etc. -- Franks aims to distract Congress with his new legislative effort, the Prenatal NonDiscrimination Act (PreNDA). Sounds harmless, perhaps even like something that's good for women, right? Too bad it's anything but.

The anti-abortion bill aims to target and prosecute abortion providers who appear to "discriminate against the unborn by subjecting them to an abortion based on their race or sex," according to Franks. But since when exactly has this country had a problem with women aborting on the basis of the gender or race of their fetus?!

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In Franks' delusional world, this is a serious issue Americans need legislation against RIGHT NOW. Apparently, he believes that "sex-selection abortions" are on the rise (he doesn't provide any real data on it, though), and he points to a Zogby International poll that found 86 percent of people surveyed think "gender-based abortion choices should be illegal." I'm sure that many people think someone naming their kid Adolf Hitler should be illegal, too, but does that mean Congress has to spend precious time and taxpayers' dollars debating it? NO!

I'm not saying discriminatory abortions aren't very obviously wrong, but they're NOT a troublesome trend we need to address. In Franks' own home state of Arizona, state officials and independent searches could not verify the claim that women abort based on race. Further proof: The number of baby girls born increased since abortion became legal, and only 5 percent of abortions take place beyond the point when a fetus's sex can be determined anyway.

That said, PreNDA is clearly nothing but another lame attempt to chip away at Roe v. Wade and not-so-sneakily go after ALL abortion providers. Tell me, Franks, how are authorities going to be able to prove a provider was performing abortions done solely for "sex- or race-selection purposes"? And how easy would it be for anti-abortion advocates to point the finger at any provider and accuse them of doing just that?

I couldn't agree more with Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who says the PreNDA is "a trumped up bill for a trumped up problem." Shame on Franks for pushing legislation that is a blatant waste of time and resources when Congress has a horde of actual, pressing problems to contend with.

What do you make of the PreNDA bill?

 

Image via Cliff1066/Flickr

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