Representative Trent Franks’ (AZ-02) bill to ban sex-selective abortions is headed for a floor vote today, Thursday, May 31. The GOP leadership will bring the bill to the floor under suspension of House rules, meaning that two-thirds of those voting will have to vote AYE in order for the bill to pass.
This makes every vote crucial to passage -- especially those of Democrats -- who need to be called immediately to demand their vote in favor of this legislation.
The Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) would impose criminal penalties on doctors who provide abortions known to be motivated by gender discrimination, as well as on people who coerce women into having abortions for that reason.
The legislation would outlaw abortions performed on the basis of the child's sex or race. It also outlaws the coercion of any woman to obtain either a sex- or race-based abortion.
It would also bar federal funding for organizations that do not comply, and require medical professionals to report when they suspect any part of the rule has been violated.
Ahead of Thursday’s vote, pro-life activists have buttressed their case with studies showing that the sex-selective abortion is on the rise in North America. Likewise, according to Congressman Franks, a minority baby is currently five times more likely to be aborted than a white baby, and nearly half of all black babies are aborted, with over 70 percent of abortion clinics being located in predominantly minority neighborhoods.
“It is to be hoped that even many members who deem themselves ‘pro-choice’ will recoil at the notion that ‘freedom of choice’ must include even the choice to abort a little unborn girl, merely because she is a girl,” the National Right to Life Committee wrote in a letter to lawmakers urging votes in favor of PRENDA.
“This particular bill puts in the spotlight a systematic and egregious form of violence against women and their daughters,” National Right to Life’s legislative director Douglas Johnson told The Hill.
Johnson added that he is lobbying “every member who might be moved” to support the measure, including Democrats, because to pass under suspension of the rules would require 50 Democrats to vote in favor of the bill.
Despite the need to gain Democrat support -- which seems difficult given fierce liberal opposition to any restriction on abortion -- Congressman Franks remains sanguine about the long term prospects for the bill’s passage. "I am convinced this is the civil rights battle that will define our generation, and, by the grace of God, I look forward to this vital measure's consideration on the House floor and its ultimate passage," said the Congressman in a news release posted to his website.
Make your call in favor of PRENDA as soon as you get this email. To get your Congressman’s phone number, go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/ and search by last name or state and district -- or for more details on PRENDA and today’s vote, go to the National Right to Life website at http://www.nrlc.org/.