March 12, 2013
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Janne Myrdal, and I am the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota. CWA is the largest public policy women’s organization in the nation. We are here today on behalf of our North Dakota members, in support of this Prenatal Non-discrimination Act, HB1305.
Information that will shed greater understanding on the need for this legislation: There are over 160 million “missing girls” in the world who were killed simply because they were girls. Condoning sex-selection abortion is discrimination, because it gives credence to the idea that women are less valuable than men. According to a 2006 Zogby poll, sex-selection abortions are opposed by over 86 percent of Americans. I would wager that number is even higher here in North Dakota. Condoning sex-selection abortions feeds into the idea that women are less valuable than men and are objects to be tossed aside. Sex-selection abortions have had devastating societal consequences around the world, consequences which could impact the country's stability, as a lack of girl children leads to an increase in kidnapping and sex trafficking. Sadly, sex-selection abortions aren't just a problem for other countries, they happen every day here in America. Pure and simple, these abortions are eugenics. It is astounding that in a country that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in various contexts, such as employment, education, and housing, it is legal to abort a child because she’s/he’s a girl or a boy.
(Because of gendercide, there are now approximately 37 million more males living in China than women. However, this is not an issue that only impacts countries like China. Sex-selection abortions are occurring here in the United States. According to a University of California Berkeley study which looked at 2000 Census data, there was a male bias, especially for third children, of U.S.–born children of Chinese, Korean, and Indian parents.)
Abortion on the basis of the unborn baby's gender is a problem recently highlighted by undercover videos released by Live Action showing a Planned Parenthood clinic staff member instructing a woman on how to obtain a late-term sex-selective abortion.
Every child deserves the right to live, regardless of its sex or genetic abnormalities or a potential genetic abnormality. Our Founding Fathers clearly delineated the right to life as one that is unalienable and endowed by our Creator. It is horrific that in America today babies are being killed on the basis of their sex or genetic abnormalities, or potential abnormalities.
An estimated 90 percent of pregnant women who are told that they may be carrying a child with Down syndrome choose to abort the baby. (This shocking statistic caused Concerned Women for America [CWA] to develop an educational brochure for expectant mothers and fathers. The brochure offers encouragement, a positive perspective, and a list of resources and support groups to help families learn more about their baby's opportunities. The brochure is available in English and Spanish and widely distributed at Ob/Gyn offices around the nation.)
When tests indicate the possibility of Down syndrome or other genetic disabilities, some physicians will place pressure on a pregnant woman to have an abortion. Many expectant parents feel overwhelmed by such a prenatal diagnosis and may not understand that the test results can be inaccurate. They also may not understand the many opportunities and resources available today. The result is a 90 percent abortion rate often based on lack of information, a lack of connecting with the excellent support services that are available, and/or outright pressure to abort.
Some physicians and patients have outdated information regarding what life holds for a child with Down syndrome in the 21st century. Advances in medical technology have led to better management and understanding of Down syndrome or other genetic abnormalities, and many individuals with these diagnoses lead productive lives with rewarding personal relationships.
The National Down Syndrome Society explains, "Down syndrome occurs in one out of every 733 live births, and more than 350,000 people in the U.S. have this genetic condition. One of the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormalities, Down syndrome affects people of all ages, races and economic levels. Today, individuals with Down syndrome are active participants in the educational, vocational, social and recreational aspects of our communities. In fact, there are more opportunities than ever before for individuals with Down syndrome to develop their abilities, discover their talents and realize their dreams."
It’s a gross abuse of technology to allow parents to be able to kill their babies on the basis of sex or genetic abnormalities or a potential genetic abnormality. At the present time, America is the only advanced country that does not restrict sex-selection through law, and that must end today. Let’s send a clear message from North Dakota that we will stand for the rights of all unborn children.
CWA of North Dakota strongly urges you to support HB1305 with a “Do Pass” vote.
Recent Congressional statements on similar legislation:
Franks (R-Arizona) stated:
"I am heartened that so many of my colleagues came together to, in an overwhelming majority, support the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act. Though it did not secure the two-thirds majority necessary to pass under suspension rules, I am confident that this is not the end, but merely the opening salvo in ensuring the words, 'It's a girl,' are no longer a death sentence for so many unborn girls.
"I also note the sad and bitter irony that President Obama, who has disingenuously accused Republicans of a so-called 'war on women,' mustered a truly breathtaking display of hypocrisy in opposing a bill that would prevent aborting those little babies who have the 'nerve' to be little girls.
"Indeed, the same Democrats who are so frequently heralded as 'progressives' today refused to make the United States the very last civilized nation on Earth to outlaw aborting a little girl simply for being a little girl, even as the human family on Earth is today missing 200 million baby girls, thanks to the grisly practice the majority of my colleagues across the aisle couldn't find it in their hearts to condemn."
Congressman Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) stated:
“It is a sad day in America when the President of the United States endorses sex-selection abortion by opposing the Franks bill to outlaw this egregious assault on baby girls. Sex-selection abortion is cruel, it's discriminatory, and it's legal. It is violence against women. Most people in government are unaware that it is part of a deliberate plan of population control. This is the real war on women.”
Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) stated:
“The House’s failure to pass a federal ban against sex-selection abortion is a sad day for America and a frightening one for girls and women,” said Rep. Kelly. “If ever there were a war on women in this country, the practice of sex-selection abortion would be the ultimate pre-emptive strike, taking the lives of innocent baby girls simply because they are girls and not boys. That’s the most reprehensible form of gender discrimination imaginable, and it’s a crime against girls and humanity that needs to be stopped.”
Congressman Diane Black (R-Tennessee) stated:
"Aborting a baby based upon their gender undermines one of our nation's founding principles that all human beings are created equal. United States law currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. Abortion should be no exception. Victims of sex selection abortions are overwhelmingly female. This is a growing problem that needs to be addressed."
Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) stated:
"I am proud to cast my vote for the most innocent among us, the unborn children. I am sickened by the thought of parents aborting a child because of its sex, and I will do everything in my power to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Sex-selective abortions are becoming an international problem with terrible repercussions, and we must stop the discrimination from happening here in America. The laws of our country go to great lengths to protect individuals from discrimination and unborn children cannot be abandoned."
Congressman Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) stated:
“I’m disappointed. This is a bill that basically is about sex selection for abortion. Abortion is wrong at any level, but to condone someone wanting to end a life based solely on the sex of their child is horrendous. This is an assault on women. This is gendercide.”
Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, also issued the following statement:
“We applaud the brave leaders in Congress such as Rep. Trent Franks for leading the charge against the abhorrent practice of sex-selective abortion. The struggle to stop gendercide is a bipartisan issue— more Democrats voted in support of the ban than Republicans against—but the battle is far from over. We will continue to release the results of our national investigation into Planned Parenthood and other U.S. providers that are facilitating the brutal and lethal discrimination against girls in the womb. The public deserves to see the truth about how Planned Parenthood and their abortion industry allies, backed by the President, facilitate the late term targeting of girls, especially as we approach a historic election."
Penny Young Nance, Chief Executive Officer and President for Concerned Women for America, stated:
"This is the ultimate violence against women. There are more than 160 million 'missing girls' in the world, 'missing' because they were killed for one reason — they were girls. Condoning sex-selection abortions feeds into the idea that women are less valuable than men and are objects to be tossed aside. According to a 2006 Zogby poll, sex-selection abortions are opposed by more than 86 percent of Americans. Because of gendercide, there are now approximately 37 million more males living in China than women. Sex-selection abortions have devastating societal consequences which could impact the country's stability, such as increased kidnapping and sex trafficking. Sadly, sex-selection abortions aren't just a problem for other countries, they happen every day here in America. Every child deserves the right to live, regardless of its sex. Our Founding Fathers clearly delineated the right to life as one that is unalienable and endowed by our Creator. It is horrific that in America today babies are being killed on the basis of their sex or race
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the nationwide pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
“Today President Obama and 168 absolutist members of Congress chose to stand with the abortion lobby rather than defend women from the lethal discrimination of sex-selective abortion. It strikes me as grossly hypocritical that President Obama and his allies lament the so-called ‘War on Women,’ and yet fail to defend those women most in need – unborn daughters and the mothers coerced into sex-selective abortion. Our President and the leaders of his party are now on the record as being diametrically opposed to an overwhelming majority – 80 percent – of American women who support a ban on sex-selective abortion. The SBA List plans to ensure that come November, women will remember who failed to stand up for them.”
Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director for National Right to Life Committee, stated
“We are heartened that a strong majority of House members voted to ban performing or coercing abortions for the purpose of eliminating unborn babies of an undesired sex – usually, girls. Shamefully, President Obama, and a minority of 168 House members, complied with the political demands of pro-abortion pressure groups, rather than defend the coerced women, and their unborn daughters, who are victimized by sex-selection abortions. We commend the House Republican leadership for bringing this bill to the floor today under the fast-track procedure. Today’s groundbreaking majority vote was a stepping stone to this bill ultimately becoming law – perhaps after the replacement of some of the lawmakers who today were unwilling to protect victimized women and their unborn daughters from sex-selection abortions, because they were more concerned with maintaining favor with the abortion industry, pro-abortion advocacy groups, and Hollywood donors.”
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