Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2019 (S. 182)
This law was last updated on Sep 17, 2019
S. 182 would prohibit sex-selective abortions.
The bill would impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly:
- performs an abortion knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex or gender of the fetus;
- uses force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selective abortion;
- solicits or accepts funds for the performance of such an abortion; or
- transports a pregnant person into the United States or across a state line for the purpose of obtaining such an abortion.
Violations or attempted violations would result in fines and/or imprisonment for up to five years.
The bill defines “sex-selection abortion” as an abortion undertaken for purposes of eliminating an ‘unborn child’ of an undesired sex. The bill goes on to state:
“Sex-selection abortion is described by scholars and civil rights advocates as an act of sex-based or gender-based violence, predicated on sex discrimination. By definition, sex-selection abortions do not implicate the health of the mother of the unborn, but instead are elective procedures motivated by sex or gender bias.”
The bill would authorize civil actions and injunctive relief.
The bill also would require a medical or mental health professional to report known or suspected violations to law enforcement authorities and would impose criminal penalties for a failure to so report.
Sex-selection abortions are not a widespread problem in the United States. However, anti-choice activists cite three studies documentingthe use of sex-selection abortion primarily among a small number of immigrant women. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum notes that a ban similar to the proposed Texas ban “targets and thus limits reproductive health access for Asian American & Pacific Islander women, who anti-choicers say are the ones guilty of this abortion practice. We know the real solution to ending the preference for sons in some families is getting to the root of the problem: gender inequity. If lawmakers truly want to help us, we call on them to promote equal pay, access to education, health equity, and ending violence against women.”
Companion bill to H.R. 2373.
1/17/19 – Introduced; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.