White House Unsure if Obama's For or Against Banning Sex-Selection Abortions

May 31, 2012 - 5:15 AM
Jay Carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (AP Photo/Caroyn Kaster(

(CNSNews.com) – The White House does not yet know whether President Barack Obama is for or against banning sex-selection abortions.

Asked on Wednesday about where the president stands on a bill proposed in the House that would ban abortions based on the gender of the unborn child, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he would have to check.

A reporter asked Carney, “The House is, I think this afternoon, preparing to take up a bill that would ban gender selection as a factor in abortions in this country. And I was wondering -- I haven’t seen it in a statement of administration policy, and I was wondering if the White House had a position on that.”

Carney did not have an answer. “I will have to take that as well,” Carney answered. “Been focused on other things. But I will get back to you.”

The Parental Non-Discrimination Act is expected to come to the House floor Thursday, according to the office of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). The bill would make abortions based on a baby’s gender illegal by creating a penalty for those who knowingly have gender-selective abortions, coerce a woman into having one, or provide transportation to a woman so she can come to the U.S. to have a gender-selective abortion.

“There are more than two hundred million missing little girls who were aborted for the sole reason that they were girls,” King said in a statement.

“The three most dangerous words are ‘it's a girl,’ but decision time does not happen when you find out the sex of your baby. PRENDA (the House bill) will protect unborn babies from being aborted because it's about a child, not a choice. I will continue to defend the unborn. There should be no question where to stand because the choice is clear -- every child deserves the right to a fulfilling life.”

"We are the only advanced country left in the world that still doesn't restrict sex-selection abortion in any way," said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), the bill’s sponsor. "This evil practice has now allowed thousands of little girls in America and millions of little girls across the world to be brutally dismembered."

Franks and others say there is evidence of sex-selection abortions in the United States among certain ethnic groups from countries such as China and India, where there is a traditional preference for sons.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion provider, issued a statement opposing the legislation.

“As the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood knows all too well that women still face gender discrimination in this country,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “We oppose sex selection abortion.  But this bill does nothing to advance protections against discrimination and instead will have the result of further shaming and stigmatizing women.”