(CNSNews.com) - A group of civil rights leaders and conservative congressmen held a press conference on Tuesday to announce proposed legislation that would prohibit knowingly performing or financing abortions based on the race or gender of the unborn child.
“We gather here today because we still have not reached that high place where the light of God’s freedom shines on the face of every last one of these children,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), sponsor of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act.
“In fact, today in our nation 4,000 of those children will die before they have the chance to stand in that light of freedom. Today, before the sun goes down,” said Franks.
Franks, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, joined with other participants at the press conference in pointing out that abortion disproportionately affects the black community. Thirty-six percent of abortions, they noted, are performed on black women, while blacks only make up 13 percent of the population.
Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, said there is mounting evidence that sex-selection abortions--which have resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of female babies in China where there is a one-child-per-couple population-control policy--are now becoming more common in the U.S.
“We now have Census data, proof, from the 2000 census, showing that in certain communities in the United States, primarily of Asian extraction, there is a preponderance of little boys,” Mosher said.
“This is an issue that grieves the heart of America and I believe it grieves the heart of God,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who also attended the press conference. “This Congress condemned China for sex selection, but at the same time our country has no law prohibiting sex selective abortion.
“The U.S. spearheaded a U.N. Commission on the Status of Women condemning sex selective abortion,” said Pence, “but … in the United States of America, our laws are silent on this issue.”
Franks said the legislation is inspired by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s which inspired Americans to unite behind a common moral cause.
“Today I hope we can all reflect back on the days in our history when one concept brought us together as a people and caused us to seize the moment for the cause of human freedom,” said Franks. “In those days, one concept unified and inspired us all: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Several pro-life activists from the black community, including Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), spoke at the conference about how Planned Parenthood has targeted minorities by putting clinics in low-income neighborhoods. They also cited the acceptance of donations earmarked for the aborting of black babies by some Planned Parenthood representatives, as reported by a student publication at the University of California at Los Angeles.
“The Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act is a brave and honest approach to the violation of the civil rights of America’s weakest population, the pre-born,” said Dr. King, director of African American Outreach for the Gospel of Life Ministries.
“It is paramount that the federal government set a precedent to ensure the protection of these children,” said Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union. “No one should be denied life because of the color of his or her skin.”
“The Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act calls upon all of us to renew America’s climb to equality and human freedom for all of God’s children,” Franks said.
Franks told CNSNews.com that this legislation won’t proceed in the current Congress, but that he and his allies are laying the groundwork so that it can become law in the future.
“We will have built a foundation to go forward,” said Franks. “We will hit the ground running.”
The Rev. Clenard Childress, president for the Northeast region of the Life Education and Resource Network or LEARN, and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) also spoke at the event.