An anti-abortion bill that generated controversy in a number of states in recent months has made its way to Congress.
The bill, the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011, would “prohibit discrimination against the unborn on the basis of sex or race, and for other purposes.”
The bill has been introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. Republican Florida congressmen Jeff Miller and Dennis Ross have co-sponsored the bill.
Arizona passed a similar bill that makes abortions “based on the sex or race of the fetus” a felony in the state. Arizona’s House Bill 2443 was signed in the wake of billboard campaigns linking abortion rates to race. Anti-choice groups have put up billboards targeting African-American women, in particular, all over the country — including in Jacksonville. State legislators in Arizona opposed to the new law said there was no statistical evidence that there is a problem in the state with race- or gender-based abortions, at the time.
According to the Frank’s law:
In General- Whoever knowingly–
- performs an abortion knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent of that child;
- uses force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion;
- solicits or accepts funds for the performance of a sex-selection abortion or a race-selection abortion; or
- transports a woman into the United States or across a State line for the purpose of obtaining a sex-selection abortion or race-selection abortion;
or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
There has been a concerted effort among anti-abortion activists to link abortion to racist aims. Groups have been touting the “black genocide” conspiracy in an effort to convince African-American communities to oppose abortion in their communities.
Influential conservative anti-abortion groups, such as the Family Research Council, have added their voices to the movement, which has even inspired a movie.