KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

House Set To Vote On Bill Banning Sex-Selection Abortions

The legislation would make it a federal crime to carry out an abortion based on the gender of the fetus. Anti-abortion advocates say the bill's sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., got the vote scheduled "as a concession" for agreeing not to try to attach it to the Violence Against Women Act.

The Associated Press: House To Vote On Sex-Selection Abortion Ban
Legislation coming up for a House vote would make it a federal crime to carry out an abortion based on the gender of the fetus. The measure takes aim at the aborting of female fetuses, a practice more common to countries such India and China, where there is a strong preference for sons, but which is also thought to take place in this country. The mainly Republican supporters of the bill characterized the vote as a sex-discrimination issue at a time when Democrats are accusing Republicans of waging a war on women (Abrams, 5/30).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: House To Vote On Whether To Make Abortions Based On Gender Of Fetus Illegal
Legislation coming up for a House vote would make it a federal crime to carry out an abortion based on the gender of the fetus. The measure takes aim at the aborting of female fetuses, a practice more common to countries such India and China, where there is a strong preference for sons, but which is also thought to take place in this country (5/30).

Politico: Bill Against Sex-Selective Abortion Comes To Vote
A vote Thursday on a bill to outlaw sex-selective abortion is the latest step in an awkward dance between the House Republican leadership and the large faction of passionate abortion opponents in the caucus. Anti-abortion bills percolate constantly in committee, but leadership has not been pushing to get them to the floor as they attempt to stay focused on an economic message, say sources close to anti-abortion Republican members. But for this bill, anti-abortion advocates say sponsor Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) got a vote scheduled as a concession when he agreed not to try to attach the measure to the Violence Against Women Act, which has been bogging down Republicans on a divisive social issue (Feder, 5/30).

CNN: House Debates Abortion Ban For Sex Of Fetus
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act would impose possible fines and prison sentences up to five years on doctors who knowingly perform abortions chosen on grounds based on sex. Abortion providers could also be subject to civil penalties, including punitive monetary damages, under certain circumstances. There is "evidence that the practice of sex selection abortion is demonstrably increasing here in the United States, especially but not exclusively in the Asian immigrant community," Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks, the bill's main sponsor, said Wednesday on the House floor (Silverleib, 5/31).

In related news -

Arizona Republic: Rep. Trent Franks Criticized For D.C. Abortion Bill
Washington's delegate to Congress called Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, "a big bully" Tuesday for his proposal to restrict abortions in the District of Columbia. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, made the remarks at a news conference with other city officials decrying what she called the "undisguised bullying tactics of the 112th Congress" when it tries to force its will on the city. The District does not have a voting member of Congress (Forsythe, 5/30).

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