Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) blasted the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) on Wednesday, comparing it to the “shock and awe” military strategy used at the beginning of the Iraq war.
“Supporters of this bill claim that the legislation would combat sex-selective abortions,” she said on the House floor. “Here we go again, this war on women continues. And this quite frankly is a shocking battle in this war. It really is shock and awe.”
Under the legislation, a doctor who performed an abortion could face up to five-years in prison if race or sex was a factor in the woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy. Medical professionals who failed to report a suspected sex- or race-based abortion to law enforcement would face up to a one-year prison sentence as well.
Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, has said the bill “fosters discrimination by requiring doctors to racially profile their patients, subjecting women from certain racial and ethnic backgrounds to additional scrutiny about their decision to terminate a pregnancy.”
Lee said she too opposed sex-selective abortions, but opposed the legislation because it was actually an inconspicuous attack on abortion rights.
She noted that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposed the bill because it would require medical professionals to “violate doctor-patient confidentiality.”
“Supporters of this bill really are exploiting serious issues like racism and sexism in a backdoor attempt to make abortion illegal,” Lee added.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Lee’s office on May 30, below: