What’s the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act? Only One of the Worst Abortion Bills Ever, That’s All
If you were already worried about the state of reproductive rights in the United States, boy howdy, get ready to learn all about the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA). H.R. 4924, which was presented to the House of Representatives committee Thursday, would ban “sex-selective and race-based abortions,” which is a fancy way of perpetuating inaccurate and alarming stereotypes about minorities — for instance, that Asian-American women would be more likely to choose to abort a female fetus, or that women of color are more likely to choose to have abortions, and that it’s up to the doctors and nurses to suss out what each patient’s motivation for seeking to terminate their pregnancy might be.
Rep. Judy Chu had strong words for the bill, telling NBC, “PRENDA doesn’t just seek to take away a woman’s right to an abortion, it peddles a dangerous and ugly stereotype that Asian-American, black, and Hispanic women are more likely to seek an abortion because of sex or race. Airing this kind of prejudice in a Congressional hearing gives it legitimacy. It also insultingly tells minority women that they cannot be trusted with making decisions for themselves,” adding, “If PRENDA becomes law, it will come between a woman and her doctor, and actually creates a perverse incentive for doctors to racially profile their patients. This is wrong.”
PRENDA is creepy, it’s racist, and it infringes on doctor-patient privilege. It’s also straight up inaccurate. A study from the Guttmacher Institute reveals, “In the United States, there is limited and inconclusive evidence that immigrants from [East and South Asia]—or anywhere else—are obtaining sex-selective abortions.”
This isn’t the first time that anti-choice politicians have adopted civil rights rhetoric for their own agenda, and it probably won’t be the last.