So here is some more ridiculousness from the U.S. House of Representatives. Earlier this week Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced a new pro-life bill in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitutions called the Susan B. Antony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. Whew, what a mouthful! So what is the purpose of this verbosely titled bill? Well it is to make sure that women aren’t allowed to get abortions based on the race or sex of the fetus.
Rep. Franks seems to think that when women are getting abortions they are getting them because of the race and/or sex of their baby. The logic behind banning sex based abortions almost makes sense. I mean in some Asians countries people are having abortions because the fetus is a girl and not the wanted boy child. The thing is though, that is not a common occurrence in the U.S. Most abortions happen before the pregnancy is far enough along to be certain of the fetus’s sex. The few that do happen after that time are predominantly done for the health of the mother or for fetal defects. Plus, a woman shouldn’t have to give her reasons for wanting/needing an abortion anyway. It is a legal procedure that she should be able to access at her discretion.
I have to admit I am completely flabbergasted by the race based ban though. To my knowledge not only is that not even a thing, pretending that it is a thing is highly offensive to women of color. Aside from various pro-life choice sites claiming Planned Parenthood is really a front to commit racial genocide by killing off the African-American population through abortion, I was unable to find anything showing that women decide to have abortions because of the race of their fetus. If that is happening, like the gender based abortions, it is a shame but the fact remains that a woman shouldn’t have to justify her reasons for seeking an abortion.
This fact makes the entire law unenforceable. For example how are law enforcement officials supposed to determine if it was broken? Would they simply question each patient before/after the procedure to determine the patients motivation? Because they could just lie. So would they then have to questions friends and family of the patient to see if they have ever expressed a dislike for a specific gender or the race of the fetus?
Another ridiculous aspect of the bill is that it would not hold women accountable, only the doctor who performs the abortion. But that makes no sense. How is the doctor supposed to know if the parent(s) is seeking an abortion because of the race or sex of the fetus? If it is illegal, they will lie. It is absurd to think a doctor should be held responsible because their patient lied to them.
The whole bill is just ridiculous, but apparently lawmakers in Arizona disagree because it is already a law there.