Thursday, February 14, 2013

WATCH: Arizona Rep. Franks Brings Back PreNDA, Restores Controversial "Race-Selection Abortion", Criminalization Provisions

If a watered-down version of your bill gets voted down, what do you do in the next Congressional session?  If you are Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (R-CD8), you go back to the original, much more controversial version of the bill.

Ahead of speaking at this weekend's "Endangered Genders Symposium", Franks has reintroduced his bill to criminalize abortions performed on the basis of race-selection or sex-selection.  Franks has been the primary sponsor of this controversial measure since 2008.

Last year, he was able to get the House of Representatives to debate and vote on the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act ("PreNDA"), and it fell short of the 2/3 majority it needed (290), 246-168.  However, to get that it to a vote, it was stripped of the portion that dealt with "race-selection abortions" , and provisions that criminalized the performance of "sex-selection abortions".  It permitted civil actions against providers, required loss of federal funding and reporting requirements.

The stripped provisions are back in the newly-introduced version.  And, likely for a variety of reasons, the 2013 version has four fewer co-sponsors than the 2012 bill.  (For example, Arizona's Jeff Flake moved from the House to the Senate; he has not co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill.)  In fact, the Senate version has lost 23 co-sponsors between 2012 and 2013.

Notwithstanding Arizona's Politics requests, Franks' office last year declined to comment on whether the Congressman agreed to the pared-down version, and how it came to be that PreNDA and other abortion bills last year were set up to require a 2/3 majority vote to move on to the Senate.

Arizona's Politics compared (available upon e-mail request) the texts of the initial 2012 H.R. 3541 and this year's H.R. 447 (introduced Feb. 1, 2013): it makes some minor changes and adds some new, controversial supporting material for the resolution.  Without naming Planned Parenthood by name, it states:

(D) A thorough review of the history of the American population control movement and its close affiliation with the American Eugenics Society reveals a history of targeting certain racial or ethnic groups for `family planning'. This history likely contributes to the current statistic that a Black baby is five times as likely to be aborted as a White baby, often in a federally subsidized clinic.

Franks and other like-minded individuals have been trying to connect Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's with the early 20th century eugenics movement, and bring that forward to the organization's current efforts.

To that end, Franks continues to speak out every opportunity he gets.  "We are besieged by a racist abortion policy, and the whole abortion industry came out of the eugenics movement where they were deliberately trying to decimate the Black population." (from the 2009 interview where he said it might be time for a second Civil War).

Planned Parenthood has a page devoted to refuting many of the claims about Sanger and racial motivations.

Here is video of Franks' opening statement last May on the stripped-down bill, where he states that now, "the three deadliest words in the English language are 'it's a girl!":

(*When Franks first introduced this bill in 2008, he only had 5 cosponsors.  The next year, he had 49, and in 2011-12, he gathered 98 co-sponsors.  To date, the 2013 version has 94 co-sponsors.)

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