Legislation coming up for a House vote would make it a federal crime to carry out an abortion based on the gender of the fetus. The measure takes aim at the aborting of female fetuses, a practice more common to countries such India and China, where there is a strong preference for sons, but which is also thought to take place in this country.
The mainly Republican supporters of the bill characterized the vote as a sex-discrimination issue at a time when Democrats are accusing Republicans of waging a war on women. Abortion rights advocates argued that the bill exploits the problem of selective abortion to further limit a woman’s right to choose.
The House Republican leadership brought the bill to the floor under a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority for passage, and the outcome was uncertain. To help assure passage, the authors removed a contentious provision of the bill that would have also banned abortions based on the race of the fetus.
Even if it passes the House, the measure faces a dim future in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The legislation, sponsored by anti-abortion activist Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., would make it a federal offense, subject to up to five years in prison, to perform, solicit funds to perform or coerce a woman into a sex-selection abortion. Bringing a woman into the country to obtain such an abortion would also be punishable by up to five years in prison.
Read more at OfficialWire. By Jim Abrams, AP.
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