Sex-Selective Abortion Ban Rejected By House

The House on Thursday voted down a bill that would have banned abortions based on the sex of a fetus. Republicans, however, said they achieved a strategic goal of forcing Democrats to vote against it.

The New York Times: House Rejects Bill To Ban Sex-Selective Abortions
The House on Thursday rejected a measure that sought to impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions on women who are trying to select the gender of their offspring -- a practice known as sex-selective abortion (Steinhauer, 5/31).

The Washington Post: Bill Banning 'Sex-Selection Abortions' Fails In The House
A measure to ban abortions based on the sex of a child failed Thursday after proponents were unable to earn enough support in the House, but GOP abortion opponents said they achieved their strategic goal of forcing Democrats to vote against it (O'Keefe, 5/31).

The Associated Press: House Rejects Sex-Selection Abortion Ban
The House on Thursday fell short in an effort to ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus as Republicans and Democrats made an election-year appeal for women's votes. The legislation would have made it a federal crime to perform or force a woman to undergo a sex-based abortion, a practice most common in some Asian countries where families wanting sons abort female fetuses (Abrams, 5/31).

McClatchy Newspapers: Republican Effort To Ban Abortions Based On Gender Fails In House
House Republicans provoked a fresh confrontation in the ongoing battle over women's health care rights, but failed Thursday to win approval for a bill designed to outlaw abortions based on gender. The bill, aimed at families trying to avoid unwanted daughters, attracted the support of a majority of representatives, but failed because it was considered under a procedure normally used for uncontroversial measures. It needed the votes of two-thirds of the House (Duncan, 5/31).

Reuters: U.S. House Rejects Sex-Selection Abortion Ban
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday rejected Republican legislation banning abortions based on the sex of the fetus in a vote that keeps the election-year spotlight on an emotionally charged issue. The "Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act," would have subjected doctors to a five-year prison term if they performed abortions intended to select gender. Medical and mental health professionals also would have had to report suspected violations to authorities or face a one-year sentence (Lawder, 5/31).

National Journal: House Fails To Pass Sex-Specific Abortion Bill
The House on Thursday failed to pass a bill that would have outlawed abortions performed because of the sex of the fetus, thrilling abortion-rights advocates. House members voted 246-168 to approve the bill, which was short of the two-thirds majority needed under an unusual procedure used to get the vote to the floor. The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., would have made it it a federal offense to perform, solicit funds to perform, or coerce a woman into a sex-selection abortion (Fox, 5/31).

The Hill: House Rejects Bill Penalizing Doctors For Sex-Selective Abortions
The House on Thursday rejected a Republican bill that would impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions for the sole purpose of controlling the gender of the child, a practice known as sex-selective abortion. The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), H.R. 3541, was defeated in a 246-168 vote. While that's a clear majority of the House, Republicans called up the bill under a suspension of House rules, which limits debate and requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. In this case, it would have required more support from Democrats (Kasperowicz, 5/31).

Roll Call: House Shoots Down Ban On Sex-Selective Abortions
Seven Republicans voted against the GOP measure, which was first introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) three years ago and would punish doctors with up to five years in prison for performing an abortion if the doctor knows it "is sought based on the sex or gender of the child." Speaker John Boehner said it is an important vote. "Ours Members feel strongly about it, "the Ohio Republican told reporters before the vote. "This is an important issue to the American people. This type of sex-selection most Americans find pretty repulsive" (Newhauser, 5/31).

If a ban on sex-selective abortions ever succeeded, it could lay the groundwork for a challenge to Roe vs. Wade, some say --

Politico Pro: Abortion Opponents See New Challenge To Roe
If Congress someday manages to pass a ban on sex-selective abortions, it could be an ideal vehicle for bringing the next direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, legal experts argued Thursday at a forum sponsored by Americans United for Life. That's because, according to University of St. Thomas law professor Michael Paulsen, "It turns on its head this perverted notion that abortion rights are needed to protect equality of the sexes" — which was one of the principles used to uphold Roe in the landmark 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Feder, 5/31).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.