Pelosi Opposes Banning Sex-Selection Abortions

By Elizabeth Harrington | May 31, 2012 | 2:27 PM EDT

( – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she opposes a bill that would make sex-selection abortion illegal in the United States because, referencing the bill’s author, she noted that it is “not exactly scientific” and “should be treated that way.”

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The legislation, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which would ban all abortions based on the gender or race of the baby, is scheduled to be voted on in the House of Representatives today.

At a Capitol Hill Press conference on Thursday, Pelosi was asked by a reporter, “What is your read on the abortion bill in the House that Republicans are offering?”

Pelosi said, “Well, I join with the American Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians in opposing it. There’s a long list, do I have it here?  I don’t know.  I don’t.”

Human baby in the womb. (AP Photo)

“But there’s a long list of health care providers who oppose the legislation,” she said.

“It’s ill -- well, the maker of the motion has said he brought it to the floor for a purpose that was not exactly scientific and so I think it should be treated that way,” Pelosi said.  “I will oppose it.”

Pelosi also said she does not think the vote will hurt Democrats who oppose the bill, remarking, “No, I think people will do, will vote the way they vote.”

The PRENDA, introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), would make performing an abortion on the basis of gender a federal offense, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and monetary fines. The legislation, HR 3541, says it is “To prohibit discrimination against the unborn on the basis of sex or race, and for other purposes.”

“It is my hope that by protecting unborn children from being aborted based on their sex, that one day very soon we will also recognize the humanity and justice of protecting unborn children regardless of their race or color as well and simply because we recognize them as fellow human beings,” Franks said on the House floor on Wednesday.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) (AP Photo)

“This evil practice has now allowed thousands of little girls in America and millions of little girls across the world to be brutally dismembered, most of them in their second or third trimester when they were capable of feeling extreme pain simply because they were little girls instead of little boy," he said.

The American College of Obstetricians said they oppose the bill because it could deter access, and joined a list sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice of over 15,000 organizations that oppose it.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday that he was unsure of President Barack Obama’s  position regarding the bill and would have to check, and then on Thursday announced that Obama, like Pelosi, opposes the legislation.

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