United States: rejection of a bill against selective abortions

Publié le : 25 June 2012

On Thursday 31 May 2012, a federal bill presented by the Republican representative Trent Francks from Arizona aimed at prohibiting abortions for the purposes of “sex selection” was rejected by the House of Representatives, which has a Republican majority. In the United States, four States have already adopted this type of legislation.           
On the eve of the vote, the secretary of the Press Department of the White House, Jamie Smith, stated that “the administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms.” However, she added that the administration was against the bill because “the government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.”

The bill, which would have made it a federal offense “subject to up to five years in prison, to perform, solicit funds for or coerce a woman into having a sex-selection abortion,”did not obtain the two-thirds majority necessary for its adoption (246 votes for and 168 votes against). 
Nevertheless, according to Nicholas Eberstadt, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, “sex-selection abortions are increasing in the United States, particularly in the Asian immigrant community.”

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