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Public Statements

Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. CLARKE of New York. Mr. Speaker, yesterday I voted against H.R. 3541, the Prenata Nondiscrimination Act. I am proud that as a body we rejected the measure, and relieved that we exposed the true intent of what would have been a disastrous law. The title of the measure was a misnomer. The proposed law did not seek to fight sex-based discrimination in our society, but was rather designed to cut down the personal rights of women.

Let me be clear, I am opposed to sex-selection abortion based on gender. However, the legislation voted upon yesterday was overbroad and dangerous. It proposed harsh sentences for doctors and individuals that strive to provide support to a woman as she makes difficult decisions concerning her personal health. It threatened the sanctity of doctor-patient confidentiality, and would have created an environment that allowed hearsay to be used as a weapon to impose Federal regulation on a purely personal matter.Let's see this bill for what it truly was. It was yet another attempt to undermine a woman's right to choose. It was an insidious attack on personal rights. We have fought hard for our rights as women, and I will never stand by idly as some in Congress try to destroy something women like me hold so dear! If this Congress was serious about taking up issues of discrimination it would have wasted its time on this bill. We should be using our precious time here to discuss is our unequal education system, our disproportionate access to capital, or the lack of basic medical care that 47 million Americans deal with daily. Apparently, some of us believe that discrimination only exists in the womb. This type of hypocrisy and two handed policy-making must stop, and I suggest proponents of the bill examine whether or not the measure goes along with the ideals of limited government that are supposed to drive their agenda.

I am glad that we defeated the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, and promise that I will fight to strike down any other measure of the same nature in the future.

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