By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
April 12, 2013
RALEIGH — Abortion as a means of gender selection, once considered a problem only in countries such as China or India, is gaining popularity throughout the world, and some lawmakers want to make it clear that such a practice is not welcome in North Carolina.
Filed this week, House Bill 716 “Clarify Law/Prohibit Sex-Selective Abortion,” would fine a doctor at least $10,000 for performing or trying to perform an abortion “with knowledge or an objective reason to know” that the child’s gender is a significant factor in the pregnant woman’s seeking the abortion. Fines for subsequent sex-selection abortions would rise first to $50,000 and then $100,000, and abortionists performing them would be subject to civil suits.
“Most couples wanting to find out the gender of their unborn child are excited about knowing what color to paint the nursery or whether they can use great-grandmother’s middle name,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “But sadly, in some cases, the ‘wrong’ gender news can be a death sentence for the baby. That’s what this bill would help prevent.”
Already, undercover investigations of at least two Tar Heel abortion clinics by the well-known pro-life group Live Action show that the clinics have no qualms about performing sex-selection abortions. Footage released last June from a Planned Parenthood clinic in Chapel Hill showed a worker referring a woman purporting to be 16 weeks pregnant to an obstetrician’s office for tests to confirm gender so that she could abort her baby if it turned out to be a girl. When the woman asked if it would be OK to come back for future abortions should she continue to get pregnant with girls, she was assured it would be no problem.
Planned Parenthood officials in North Carolina have told the media their organization opposes the bill because they say it would force a doctor into becoming an investigator, quizzing a woman as to why she wants an abortion. The group successfully fought a similar bill, the Prenatal Non-discrimination Act, on the national level last May. Nonetheless, about a dozen states have either passed bans on sex-selection abortion or are considering them.
“This bill reflects the beliefs of most people, when it comes to aborting a baby simply because it is not the gender the parents wanted,” said Dr. Creech. “A 2006 Zogby International poll showed that 86 percent of Americans support a ban on sex-selection abortion.”
Sponsored by Republicans Ruth Samuelson (Mecklenburg), Pat McElraft (Carteret), Jacqueline Schaffer (Mecklenburg) and Rena Turner (Iredell) and more than 50 other representatives, the bill has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary, Subcommittee A.