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Congressman Black's Statement on Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) released the following statement on her vote in support of H.R. 3541, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012, which failed to reach the two-thirds threshold needed for passage.

"Aborting a baby based upon their gender undermines one of our nation's founding principles that all human beings are created equal. United States law currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. Abortion should be no exception. Victims of sex selection abortions are overwhelmingly female. It is incredibly disappointing that the House failed to pass this common sense legislation that would address this growing problem." said Congressman Diane Black.

PRENDA prohibits performing an abortion based on the sex of the child, using force to threaten or intimidate someone into having a sex selection abortion, accepting funds to perform a sex-selection abortion, and transporting a woman into the U.S. with the purpose of having a sex-selection abortion. These actions would result in being fined or imprisoned for 5 years.

The House of Representatives voted today 246-168 in favor of H.R. 3541. Under suspension of the rules, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is necessary for passage; the bill was not approved.

Background: United States law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and race. The sex-determination niche industry has developed and is growing. The industry is marketing low-cost products that can be used to determine the sex of the unborn child without the assistance of a medical professional. "Sex-selection abortion" is an abortion that is done for the purpose of eliminating an unborn child of an undesired sex. Targeted victims of sex selection abortions are overwhelmingly female. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women has urged governments of all nations "to take necessary measures to prevent...prenatal sex selection." In March 2006 Zogby poll, 86 percent of Americans agreed that sex-selection abortion should be illegal, yet only 3 states proscribe sex-selection abortion.

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