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Public Statements

Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act we are debating at this moment simply says that an unborn child cannot be discriminated against by subjecting him to an abortion based on the sex of the child. Because between 40 and 50 percent of African American babies--nearly one in two--are killed by abortion, which is five times, Mr. Speaker, the rate of white children, I believe with all of my heart that this bill should also prohibit race-targeted abortion as it did when the bill was first introduced.

It is my hope that by protecting unborn children from being aborted based on their sex that one day very soon we will also recognize the humanity and justice of protecting unborn children regardless of their race or color as well, and simply because we recognize them as fellow human beings.

Mr. Speaker, worldwide sex-selection abortion has now left the human family on Earth with approximately 200 million missing baby girls. Various United Nations organizations have battled sex-selection abortion for years. These agencies routinely refer to sex-selection abortion as ``an extreme form of violence against women.''

In the New Atlantis magazine, political economist Nicholas Eberstadt, of the American Enterprise Institute, said:

In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls.

In 2007, the United States spearheaded a U.N. resolution to condemn sex-selection abortion worldwide; yet here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we are the only advanced country left in the world that still doesn't restrict sex-selection abortion in any way.

Mr. Speaker, a number of academic papers have now published evidence that the practice of sex-selection abortion is demonstrably increasing here in the United States, especially, but not exclusively, in the Asian immigrant community.

A study by researchers at the University of Connecticut, which was published in Prenatal Diagnosis, found that the male-to-female live birth sex ratio in the United States for Chinese, Asian Indians, and Koreans clearly exceeded biological variation for third births and beyond. Mr. Speaker, deliberate prenatal sex selection is the only plausible explanation.

Dr. Sunita Puri and three other researchers at the University of California interviewed 65 immigrant Indian women in the United States who had sought or were seeking sex-selection abortion. They found that 40 percent of the women interviewed had deliberately aborted unborn baby girls previously and that nearly 90 percent of the women who were currently carrying unborn baby girls were also currently seeking to abort them.

This was an incredibly powerful study, Mr. Speaker. It discussed in detail the multiple forms of pressure and outright coercion to which these women are often subjected. Sixty-two percent of the women described verbal abuse from their husbands or female in-laws, and fully one-third of women described past physical abuse and neglect, all related specifically to their failing to produce a male child. As a result, these women reported aborting multiple unborn baby girls in a row because of the pressure that was put on them to have a male child.

Mr. Speaker, sex-selection abortion is extreme violence against both unborn baby girls and their mothers. It has been a primary enforcement mechanism for China's forced abortion and ``one child'' policy for many years. It has dramatically increased sex trafficking and violence against women due to the imbalanced sex ratios left in its wake across the world, and we now know that it is a tragic circumstance into which many women are also being coerced. This evil practice has now allowed thousands of little girls in America and millions of little girls across the world to be brutally dismembered, most of them in their second or third trimester and when they are capable of feeling extreme pain, simply because they were little girls instead of little boys, Mr. Speaker.

Sex selection is violence against women, and it is the truest kind of war against women, and it has now brought humanity to a place where the three deadliest words on this Earth are ``it's a girl.'' What in God's name have we come to, Mr. Speaker? I've often asked myself what finally enlightened and changed the hearts of those across history who have either perpetrated or supported or ignored the atrocities and human genocides of their day.

While I probably will never fully understand, I believe I caught a glimpse of the answer from my 3-year-old little girl, Gracie. As I was holding her and we were watching her favorite laughing baby videos on YouTube, I inadvertently clicked on a video that showed a young man from China who was playing poignant and beautiful music on the piano with his feet because both of his arms had been amputated when he was a child.

In trying to seize on a teaching moment, Mr. Speaker, I said, ``Look at that, Gracie. He's playing the piano with his feet. Isn't that amazing?''

But with a stricken little look on her face, Gracie said, ``But, Daddy, he doesn't have any arms.''

I said, ``I know, Baby, and that's very sad, isn't it?''

And she said, ``Oh, Daddy, it is very sad. We've got to help him. We've just got to. We've got to get some arms and give it to him.''

I said, ``But, Baby, there aren't any extra arms. They're all hooked onto other people.''

And she thought for a moment and looked at me with wet little eyes and pulled up her sleeve and held up her little arm and said, ``But, Daddy, can I give him one of my arms if it will fit on him?''

Across human history, the greatest and most loving voices among us have always emphasized the critical responsibility each of us has to recognize and cherish the light of divine, eternal humanity shining in the soul of every last one of our fellow human beings. I believe there is an answer to some of these seemingly unanswerable questions, Mr. Speaker, that face the human families and how we see each other. On that YouTube video, I saw an amazing young man who played heart-stirring music with his feet, but my little girl saw a child of God who had no arms and wanted to give him one of hers.

And how very thankful I am that my little Gracie was not one of the hundreds of millions of little girls whose lives and hearts were torn from this world before they ever saw the light of sunrise simply because they were little girls instead of little boys.

I know that this Congress deals with many controversial issues where it is sometimes difficult for Republicans and Democrats to find common ground, but I refuse to believe that we cannot find enough humanity in this body to conclude together that it is wrong to knowingly kill unborn children because they are baby girls instead of baby boys.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I don't have time to correct all of the misinformation that my friends on the other side of the aisle have said here today. They've talked about everything but what this bill does.

If I thought that America really supported aborting little girls because they were little girls as a people, then I guess I would conclude that the light of human compassion had gone out in our society and it was time to board this place up and go home and be done with it. But, fortunately, Mr. Speaker, I know that 86 percent of the American people favor protecting little girls from sex-selection abortion, and that gives me great hope. I wish I had time to mention all of the groups that are in favor of this bill, but I know that this is going to be the first step, and we're going to be on the right side of history and the right side of justice, and I urge a ``yes'' vote on this bill.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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