“It is wrong to discriminate against unborn children, targeting them for either their sex or a perception of their abilities and potential,” said AUL’s Dr. Yoest. “We can do better.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (01-31-13) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest commended the efforts of Missouri House Rep. John McCaherty (R-District 97) who this week introduced a bill that would prohibit abortions for reasons of sex selection and genetic abnormality. Sex-selection abortions have become increasingly popular in some Asian countries like India and China, and the discrimination is becoming more prevalent in the United States.

“It is uncivilized to accept the deaths of children simply because they may be girls, the most common victims of sex-selection abortions. And targeting young children for destruction because they have disabilities is inhumane. Now is the time to address the increasing discrimination based on sex and genetic abnormalities, and AUL’s model legislation can help,” said Dr. Yoest.

Rep. McCaherty agreed: “Knowing that the abortion industry sells abortions based on nothing more than a bias against the gender of a baby or the fears of a woman that her child ‘may’ have some genetic defect demands a policy response. The abortion industry is preying on those who are making a decision that will affect the rest of their lives.”

The newly introduced bill is virtually identical to legislation introduced last year on which Dr. Yoest testified before the Missouri House Health Care Policy Committee, urging the state legislators to uphold a policy of non-discrimination by banning this form of gender and genetic-based violence.

In that testimony, Dr. Yoest cited a 2011 study by Mara Hvistendahl, author of Unnatural Selection, which reported that 163 million girls are missing in the world because of sex-selection abortions.  In 2005, the United Nations Population Fund recognized the severity of the problem, terming the sex-selection abortion practice “female infanticide.”

During the testimony, the lobbyist for Planned Parenthood indicated that they would perform an abortion on a woman even in circumstances when they know the only reason the woman is doing it is because they don’t like the sex of the baby.

Regarding discrimination based on genetic abnormalities, it is reported that many of the babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. Dr. Yoest emphasized that both state and federal law in various circumstances, such as housing and education, prohibit discriminating against persons with Down Syndrome or genetic abnormalities.

For more information on AUL model legislation, click here.