Abortion is a contentious issue, and there are levels of agreement as to what should or should not be allowed. There are those who believe that abortion is a woman's right, with no restrictions, and should be their choice alone. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who think that abortion is murder, and regardless of circumstances should never be performed. Then you have those who live somewhere in the middle who believe that abortion should be legal in the case of incest, rape or if the life of the mother is at risk. Wherever one stands regarding abortion, one would think that most people (with a conscience) would agree that aborting an otherwise healthy baby simply because of its gender was unconscionable. So the Republicans wrote up the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), H.R. 3541, which would have criminalized abortions targeting gender. Doctors who performed those kinds of abortions would be fined and jailed.
However, the bill was defeated by 246-168 votes, including seven Republicans who voted against it. Twenty Democrats actually voted for the bill, and it would have needed thirty more votes to pass.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said,
"This is an important issue to the American people. This type of sex selection most Americans find pretty repulsive, and our members feel strongly about it. That's why it is being brought to the floor."
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), sponsor of the bill, said:
"In 2007, the United States spearheaded a U.N. resolution to condemn sex-selective abortion worldwide. Yet, here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we are the only advanced country left in the world that still doesn't restrict sex-selective abortion in any way."
Some Democrats who claimed they oppose 'sex-selective abortions' refused to vote for the bill because of its 'enforcement provisions.'
"We can all agree that women should not choose to terminate a pregnancy based solely on gender, but this bill criminalizes a legal procedure," Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) said Thursday afternoon.
"The bill includes a provision that would allow a women's husband or parents, by merely alleging that an abortion is because of gender, to seek injunctive relief to prevent the doctor from performing abortion procedures, sending an incredibly private and personal decision into the courts," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) added Thursday.
"It is another Republican intrusion into a woman's right to choose," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) of the GOP bill on Wednesday. "Women should be able to make such sensitive and private decisions with their families, their doctors and their god, free from the fear of the police."
Of course, liberals would see it that way.
Here is how The House voted:
Republicans voting against the bill were Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Charlie Bass (N.H.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Robert Dold (Ill.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Nan Hayworth (N.Y.), and Ron Paul (Texas).
Democrats voting for it were Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Jerry Costello (Ill.), Mark Critz (Pa.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), John Garamendi (Calif.), Tim Holden (Pa.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Silvestre Reyes (Texas), Mike Ross (Ark.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.).