Lawmakers, Activists Target 'Gendercide' Sex Selection
In the style of activist-filmmaker James O'Keefe, an anti-abortion group has released an undercover video purportedly showing a Planned Parenthood counselor in Texas assisting a woman who says she's seeking a sex-selection abortion.
"I see that you're saying that you want to terminate if it's a girl, so are you just wanting to continue the pregnancy in the meantime?"the Planned Parenthood counselor asks on the tape. "The abortion covers you up to 23 weeks and usually at five months is usually when they detect, you know, whether it's a boy or a girl."
At the close of the conversation, when the woman who says she's pregnant thanks the Planned Parenthood counselor for not "placing judgment" on her choice, the counselor replies cheerily, "Good luck, and I hope that you do get your boy."
Released Tuesday, the video was made by Live Action, a group headed by Lila Rose, the 23-year-old media darling of the anti-abortion movement. The video is labeled "Part 1? on the group's website, suggesting there might be more tapes coming, in the style of conservatives O'Keefe and the late publisher-commentator Andrew Breitbart.
Planned Parenthood has denounced the video as an effort to "promote false claims about our organization and patient services. In highly unusual and scripted scenarios, hoax patients sought services related to sex selection."
The group said in a statement that it fired the staff member depicted in the April 11 video and that "all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters."
"Gendercide" - the practice of killing baby girls or terminating pregnancies solely because the fetus is female - is estimated to have produced a "gender imbalance" of more than 100 million girls around the world. The practice is widespread in some Asian countries but not limited to them.
Many nations with pro-abortion-rights laws and protections, nevertheless, ban sex-selection abortions. Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands have laws banning sex-selection abortions. The United States does not.
This is the next front in the abortion debate for many anti-abortion activists. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives, however, will vote on legislation this week that would ban sex-selective abortions in the United States
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is scheduled to come to the House floor as soon as today under suspension of the rules. A suspension vote requires a two-thirds majority to pass.
The measure is expected to be approved in the House, although it's unclear whether the Democratically controlled Senate would follow suit.