Republican sponsored House Resolution 3541, Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), failed to achieve the 2/3rds majority required for passage today with a final vote total of 246 Yeas to 168 Nays but while this appears to be a defeat for the Republican controlled House of Representatives, it is actually a win.
Before I get to that, let’s first take a look at the Bill. The full text of PRENDA can be viewed here but here is the important part:
Sec. 250. Discrimination against the unborn on the basis of race or sex
`(a) In General- Whoever knowingly–
`(1) performs an abortion knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent of that child;
`(2) uses force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion;
`(3) solicits or accepts funds for the performance of a sex-selection abortion or a race-selection abortion; or
`(4) transports a woman into the United States or across a State line for the purpose of obtaining a sex-selection abortion or race-selection abortion;
or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
The PRENDA Bill sought to make it illegal to perform an abortion when the sole reason for that abortion was due to the gender or race of the child in the womb. For example, if someone was hoping for a boy but they were carrying a girl then HR 3541 would make it illegal to kill the baby for that sole reason. Sounds pretty cut and dry to me. This Bill should’ve passed with an overwhelming majority. What are we? China?
Apparently so because a majority of Democrats (161 nays vs. 20 yeas) and a few Republicans (7 nays vs. 226 yeas) voted against this Bill (you can check your representatives here to see how they voted) and kept it from passing.
It probably was apparent, before the vote, that there weren’t enough votes to pass HR 3541 but I commend the Republican leadership for bringing it up for a vote because this Bill put the Democrats in a no-win situation.
If they voted for the Bill then they would be admitting that there is at least one reason that can’t be used to justify an abortion – killing a baby based purely on the sex or race of the child. Once Democrats admitted this, then they would be placing their foot on a very slippery slope that would lead to the total breakdown of their pro Abortion arguments. If they admit that the baby has ‘life’ and shouldn’t be killed in this instance then why should we kill the same baby for other reasons such as birth control?
If the Democrats voted against the Bill (like many of them did) then they would be saying it is perfectly fine to have an abortion to control what sex your child is. Gee, we already have a girl and really wanted a boy to balance the family out so let’s go to the doctor and kill this one and try again. Doesn’t this position sound heinous and evil? Yes it does and this is the exact position that 161 Democrats and 7 Republicans just admitted to endorsing with their votes today.
And how did President Obama weigh in on this Bill? From Jake Tapper’s news blog:
“White House deputy press secretary Jamie Smith says in a statement: “The Administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision. The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.”
A Nay vote on HR 3541 is indefensible on basic human rights terms and do not let them forget it in November.