Joe Biden ignited a firestorm when he seemed to indicate support of China's one child family policy back in 2011. The Obama administration had to fall over itself backwards clarifying the statement and indicating opposition to China's population control measure.
Families want boys in China and the policy has led to the use of sex selection abortion to terminate female feutuses. China has 119 male births for every 100 female births.
Recently, Live Action, an activist pro-life organization produced an undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, TX appearing to be indifferent to the subject of a sex selective abortion. The issue has received the typical attention by right wing outlets and near silence in the mainstream media.
A bill was presented in the US House of Representitives to ban sex selective abortions today. It required a two thirds vote to pass and fell short of passage.
Democrats accused Republicans of political gamesmanship with the bill. There were claims that the bill would solve a problem that was not there. Obama opposes the bill on the grounds that he feels it would infringe on abortion rights. Arguments were also made that it would put physicians in the role of having to determine why someone was getting a pregnancy termination performed.
Sex selection abortion has been banned in many countries including China. There are also laws in some US states (Oklahoma, Illinois, Arizona, Pennsylvania) making the practice illegal. Some studies suggest that the practice is present in the United States particularly in Asian populations. This was enough of a concern among bill opponents that they claimed the law would be used to target Asian Americans.
The bill did call for jail time for any physician who knowingly performed an abortion for sex selection. This is a provision which could have led to overzealous prosecutions.
Planned Parenthood (PP) has stated that they condemn the practice of sex selection abortion. However, in the same statement, PP states they would not deny a woman an abortion for any reason including sex selection unless expressly prohibited by the laws of the state.
Most people who think abortion should be legal have varying levels of comfort with the procedure. That comfort level lessens as a pregnancy gets further along. It also leseens when the reasons for the abortion seem suspect. Terminating a pregnancy because of the gender of the child is one of those reasons.
Whether sex selective abortion is a large scale problem in the United States or not is irrelevant to the vile nature of the procedure. It is a practice that should be outlawed even if details of how to do it have to be hammered out.
The slippery slope argument that this law would lead to all out illegalization of abortion is preposterous. The rhetoric coming out of some Democrat lawmakers about dragging women into the street and coat hangers is grandstanding at its worst. Similar laws in countries far more tolerant of abortion make that obvious.
The Democrats are right in that this bill was pushed to an extent to box lawmakers into an unpopular position. The bill should also be a wake up call to the American public.
Abortion will remain legal in this country. There is no way that Roe v Wade will ever be overturned. However, an issue such as using abortion to select babies by sex appropriately leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
People should consider that bad taste when they look at the abortion issue. What is next in the technology driven world? Eye color? Intelligence? Athletic ability?
There is an irony in this issue. Sex preference is almost always used to select out a male fetus to be born. Defending the practice is in itself a war on the women of the future. China's numbers show how that can work out.
PP has once again shown that it is willing to leave behind decency in the name of over the top political activism. The same organization that funded efforts to make sexual preference a specially considered class in Anchorage has no problem with gender discrimination. The agenda must be defended at all costs.
This may actually be a case where Obama and company may want to look to the world for advice.