There is little that is more tragic than when a baby is aborted merely because it is perceived to be the “wrong” gender or race. And yet, this exact scenario is playing out all over the world, including in the United States. In fact, the situation in the United States may be the worst of all, because it is happening in full compliance with the law.
In places like India and China, gender-based abortions have long been a significant problem due to the cultural bias toward males. China’s restrictions on family size have further exacerbated the problem. However, even in these countries, the horror of aborting a baby because of its gender has been recognized, and complete bans on gender-based abortions have been enacted. Most of the international community, including the United Nations, now favor a ban on gender-based abortions. By virtue of continuing to allow such a barbaric practice, the U.S. is lagging well behind on this fundamental human right, and is running the risk of becoming the “destination of choice” for those who would seek an abortion because their baby is not the preferred gender.
Fortunately, the American people understand the problem. A 2006 Zogby poll found that 86% of Americans support a ban on gender-based abortions. However, legislation sponsored by Congressman Trent Franks in 2009 to enact such a ban was not approved.
Fortunately, Congressman Franks is not easily dissuaded, and remains committed to stomping out this evil. He will be reintroducing his legislation, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), later this week. This legislation would ban all gender-based abortions, as well as all race-based abortions.
While the problem of gender-based abortion is at first glance more obvious because of how prevalent and public it is, the occurrence of race-based abortions is equally abhorrent and possibly just as common. It is particularly alarming that Planned Parenthood has been caught on camera accepting funds for the purpose of aborting minority babies. This fact alone - the largest abortion provider in the world is willing to earmark funds for the abortion of minority babies - makes it clear that race-based abortions must also be outlawed.
The ACLJ applauds Congressman Franks for his heroic stand against race-based and gender-based abortions. We call on the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and President Obama to stand with 86% of the American people (from both sides of the abortion debate) and enact this common-sense legislation. It is time – at a minimum - for the U.S. to catch up with the international community on this basic human and civil rights issue.