Today, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) voted in support of the Prenatal Non-discrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012, which bans sex-selection abortion, the coercion of sex-selection abortion, the solicitation or acceptance of funds for sex-selection abortion, and the transportation of a woman into the country or across a state line to obtain a sex-selection abortion. PRENDA, which was cosponsored by Rep. Kelly, failed to pass the House by a vote of 246 to 168. Although a majority voted in favor of the bill, the bill was brought to the floor under a suspension of House rules, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass.
"The House's failure to pass a federal ban against sex-selection abortion is a sad day for America and a frightening one for girls and women," said Rep. Kelly. "If ever there were a war on women in this country, the practice of sex-selection abortion would be the ultimate pre-emptive strike, taking the lives of innocent baby girls simply because they are girls and not boys. That's the most reprehensible form of gender discrimination imaginable and it's a crime against girls and humanity that needs to be stopped."
Tens of millions of girls have been aborted throughout the world, especially in countries like China and India, simply because of their gender. According to studies from leading American academic institutions, there is growing and clear evidence of sex-selection abortions in the U.S. Columbia University released a report in 2008 that found that there is "strong son bias" within selected American communities as revealed in census data and "clear evidence of sex-selection, most likely at the prenatal stage."
This week, Live Action released a new video showing a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, TX, advising a woman on how to determine the gender of her baby and then obtain an abortion if the baby is a girl.
The practice of sex-selection abortion has been roundly rejected by the American people. A 2006 Zogby International poll of 30,000 Americans showed that 86 percent of the American public desires a law to ban sex-selection abortion. The United States is believed to be the only advanced country that does not restrict sex-selection abortion through law. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has had a state ban on sex-selection abortion since 1989.