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House Republicans Push Symbolic Nonsense Abortion Bill

Congressional conservatives want to ban "discrimination against the unborn on the basis of sex."

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc Blend Images/NewscomJose Luis Pelaez Inc Blend Images/NewscomCongressional Republicans want to ban "discrimination against the unborn on the basis of sex." Like similarly spurious bills floating around state legislatures, this one would make abortion illegal when motivated by a desire to avoid having a child of a particular sex.

The House bill, H.R. 4660, marks the latest lame attempt at self-promotion from Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). Wagner has history of introducing legislation on hot-button issues that either has no chance of passing or will lead to little to no change if passed.

Her latest bill, introduced last Thursday, has already attracted 29 co-sponsors—all Republican—so its chances of passing the House may be good. But like so many state bills to this same effect, Wagner's anti-discrimination law for "the unborn" would be utterly ineffectual on the ground (at least in terms of its stated purpose).

Nowhere in the the United States are women seeking an abortion required to explain why they are doing so. Nowhere in the U.S. are doctors required to ask. Anyone who wants to terminate a pregnancy because the fetus is male or female could still do exactly that, so long as she didn't go around announcing that was the reason.

In addition to not actually accomplishing anything in practice, sex-selective abortion bans address an issue that essentially doesn't exist in America. We have no mass culture of devaluing the birth of either sex. We have no shortage of male or female babies being born. We have no evidence of sex-selective abortion being a problem here.

But of course, this isn't really about stopping people from aborting male or female fetuses. It's about drumming up conservative outrage, demonizing women who get abortions, and trying to find yet another way to chip away at reproductive freedom.

Photo Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc Blend Images/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nowhere in the the United States are women seeking an abortion required to explain why they are doing so.

    Loophole to be closed in future legislation.

  • SQRLSY One||

    And then if you want to abort the unborn for being of the wrong sex, you simply say, instead, "No, I want her aborted, 'cause she looks ugly, in that them thar ultrasound there. Nuthin' ta do w/sex!"

    Then we will need brain scans to see if Mom and/or Dad are lying...

    Job opportunities for Big-Government types lie in abundance, here! Full employment at last!!!

  • Kivlor||

    Or just say "We're not ready to be parents" or literally anything except "I don't want this kid because it's the wrong sex."

    I'm very pro-life and I think this idea is absolutely retarded.

  • BYODB||

    "I just want to see what happens when you put a person in a blender?"

    *approved*

    "I think I'd rather have a boy, since girls are inferior!"

    *denied*

    Cool policy, I see no downsides.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Symbolic Nonsense Abortion Bill would be a pretty good name for a band.

  • Homple||

    So,dead baby business as usual?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Well, sort of... This is "dead baby business" with a NEW and anti-eugenic (retrograde) spin!

    Smart parents who are smart enough to LIE about why they want the abortion, will get the abortion!

    Parents who are entirely too-too stupid to lie about their motives, will go ahead and have (bring to term) the otherwise-would-have-been-aborted child.

    So net-net, this new law will select for, and promote, stupidity!

  • SQRLSY One||

    See also recent Reason web page http://reason.com/blog/2017/11.....n-syndrome = "Ban on Abortion Because of Down Syndrome Clears Ohio Legislature
    A amendment from Democrats says no state money can go to defending the law in court.", article also by ENB, same as here. Summary: Normal babies? No special protection… But DS retards are to be specially protected!
    So we have brewing here, on multiple fronts, dysgenic human breeding programs sponsored by none other than Government Almighty! Punk group DEVO were prophets… "Are we not men? We are Devo!" … AKA, we are de-evolving. Thank You Government Almighty!

  • Juice||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We have no shortage of male or female babies being born. We have no evidence of sex-selective abortion being a problem here.

    Because, as you said, no data is being collected. Let's get this addressed, Washington!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I propose a seven year, multimillion dollar study to be performed by the friends of whichever congressman needs it most!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). Wagner has history of introducing legislation on hot-button issues that either has no chance of passing or will lead to little to no change if passed."

    A more accurate headline than "House Republicans Push Symbolic Nonsense Abortion Bill" would read, "ENB Gets Trolled by Ann Wagner for the Lulz: Blames 'Congressional Republicans'"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Epic!

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Excuse me, are we pretending that China's 'one child' policy did NOT result in a serious imbalance of men vs women? Not that this bill would necessarily solve it.

  • EscherEnigma||

    No. We're just not in China.

  • BYODB||

    That had it's own cultural undertones, but the difference is that we're not telling people they can only have one child which avoids the incentive to game what that one child will be.

    Could it potentially have the same outcome? Yes. Is it likely? Not really, since it would require millions of people to start getting abortions that weren't interested in it yesterday, and they would all need to select the same sex.

    The one child policy incentivized the abortions, and the cultural norms said it should be a boy. I don't think we'll see the same issue here in the U.S. unless we start limiting family sizes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We should probably be looking into whether we have an epidemic of parents favoring cuck fetuses in this country, quite frankly.

  • Eidde||

    "...an issue that essentially doesn't exist in America."

    In other words, it's an issue that exists in other parts of the world. Good thing people from other parts of the world never come to America!

    In any case, I think ENB is overlooking what I might call the Ithuriel's spear strategy - prolife legislators forcing votes which reveal the evil and extremism of the "prochoice" position. Make the "prochoice" side go on record for legalized sex-selection abortion, and show the public what support for abortion actually entails.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    So when you say she's "overlooking" it you really mean that her last paragraph was spot on.

  • Eidde||

    The paragraph where she says the bill is both meaningless *and* a threat to "reproductive freedom"?

  • Hail Rataxes||

    She doesn't say it's meaningless at all. This is it's meaning: "drumming up conservative outrage, demonizing women who get abortions, and trying to find yet another way to chip away at reproductive freedom."

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Y'know, the Pro-Choice bunch really need to absorb that if the Pro-Life sides assumptions are taken as right there really isn't that much in the way of anti-abortion strategy that would be extreme. It isn't a sham. 'The Patriarchy' isn't making a pretense so that women can be returned to chattle slavery (you know, like living in the Islamic world). These people believe that abortion is infanticide, and that Pro-Choice forces are killing hundreds of thousands of babies per year, more than sixty million since Roe v. Wade.

    I think they're wrong. I also think that the smug, scolding, 'that isn't a human being' arguments I read from my own side would not convince ME.

    The Pro-Life forces believe that Progressive Liberal Feminists and others on the Pro-Choice side have killed more innocents than Joseph Stalin. And we need to start taking that belief seriously, or they are going to run over us like a bulldozer running over a Chihuahua.

  • Eidde||

    Rhetorically, I'd just mention the deaths for what they are - the Stalin comparisons I'd reserve for those already convinced.

    Meanwhile, I'd just chip away piece by piece - eg, "if sex-selective abortions must be legal or the pro-choice cause is threatened, then maybe that says something bad about the prochoice cause." (Likewise with race-selection abortions.)

    And it's always educational to watch politicians who usually *love* casting purely symbolic votes Against Sexism and Against Racism suddenly discover that they don't like symbolic votes after all!

  • Eidde||

    Obviously, the target here isn't the vehement pro-choicers (though we have been known to win converts from that side, like for example the *Roe* of Roe v. Wade, a NARAL founder, and others), but the target is the mushy middle which recognizes that there's something bad about a system where you can kill a human being because it's female, and the professed Champions of Women engage in deflection to avoid dealing with the problem.

  • Kivlor||

    The arguments made for abortion generally are lame. "Oh you hate the wimminz and can't stand the idea of them making their own decisions; that's why you want to ban abortion."

    "No, really, I think it's murder. And I'm opposed to murder, regardless of the victim's age."

    I think you're spot on with your last paragraph. At some point, more pro-Choice folk should consider that.

  • BYODB||

    Pro-choice can't address those issues though, because they can't admit it's 'murder' therefore they must, as a rule, avoid addressing any semblance of humanity and must deflect constantly. I'm pro-life, I guess, but I would never choose that option myself.

    The arguments for abortion appear to rest pretty squarely on minorities, especially African Americans, since the vast majority of those who choose abortion are...African Americans by population. So maybe ask them why they're so keen on abortion. I can't pretend to know.


    According to 2010 census data, African Americans make up 12.6% of the U.S. population but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that black women accounted for 35.4% of all abortions in 2009.

    Margaret Sanger and the rest of the Progressives that wanted to exterminate certain races apparently figured out a way to make them do it themselves? That's one approach, I guess.

  • BYODB||

    Typo changes the whole thing...

    *I'm pro-choice, I guess, but I would never choose that option myself.

  • EscherEnigma||

    How often so we hear "abortion is murder! Except when it's my mistress, in which case I'm going to pressure her to abort"?

  • BYODB||

    Pretty often, but just because some assholes are hypocrites doesn't mean the argument has less weight.

  • Kivlor||

    The fact that some people are willing to A) admit it's murder and condemn it; then B) immediately demand someone close to them have an abortion so long as no one knows doesn't discredit the argument that it is murder. It's a strong argument for punishing the practice.

    We've always known that if we don't punish murder then more people will engage in the activity. This is nothing new.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "These people believe that abortion is infanticide..."

    Bullshit. If they truly believed that, every abortion facility in the country would go up in flames tonight, beset by mobs intent on saving the lives of babies. That anti-abortion people are peaceful and moderate in expressing their opposition is proof that they really do distinguish between fetuses and babies.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Will the attacks on reproductive freedom never end?! First they restrict abortion access with a net neutrality decision, and now this unconscionable attack on sex-selective abortion!

    The 2018 midterms can't come fast enough.

  • esteve7||

    last i checked you are free to reproduce as you want. there are no more forced sterilizations

    NN was about not 'restricting access'? that's a laugh. Let me guess.... if I don't pay for your condom I'm "restricting" your access to birth control too, right?

    Chump.

  • Rhywun||

    Dude, you're arguing with an obvious troll.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Bill suggests that the orogressive sacrament of unlimited abortion is tainted by the ultimate progressive sin of discrimination.

    Abortion is to repriductive freedom as bulimia is to proper diet.

  • wef||

    As long as they don't prohibit discrimination against the unborn the basis of race and low-income status.

  • Vernon Depner||

    But how would we even know what the gender of the fetus is before xe is old enough to tell us?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    That's an excellent point. For example, my parents seem to have thought I was a boy, based on the name they gave me and all the blue I'm wearing in my baby pictures. However, just because I happen to have a Y chromosome doesn't make me a male. I'm actually nonbinary, which means I'm neither male nor female, neither man nor woman.

  • Vernon Depner||

    So, you've just got a smooth bump down there like GI Joe and Ken?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    This is a common misconception I'm happy to correct. "Nonbinary" does not mean "lacking genitalia." Because as science now understands, gender is not determined by chromosomes, or by the presence or absence of anatomical features. Rather, gender is determined entirely by how a person identifies.

    So a nonbinary XY individual like me has the features you might associate with "maleness" — deep voice, Adam's apple, facial hair, etc. — I'm still not a male because I don't identify as such. Likewise, Caitlyn Jenner lived at least the first several decades of her life with a penis, but she was always a female.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Gender is system for organizing the nouns in inflected languages.

  • BYODB||

    Yeah, and now it's also a system for making any discussions of sex completely unintelligible to anyone.

  • ||

    It's not grotesque gender-reassignment surgery on minors, it's genital reconstructive surgery to save pre-aborted

  • ||

    ... less than 75th trimester fetuses.

    Goddamnedfuckingnogoodmissingeditbutton!

  • ALWAYS RIGHT||

    Here is one more example of foolishness. Lawmakers deserve your contempt.

  • NoVaNick||

    Both parties want to please their donors-so we end up with largely symbolic legislation like this from the GOP, and equally asinine bills on things like a "living wage" and eliminating all emissions by 2025 from the dems. The solution of course is for government not to have such a huge role in our lives just so these clowns can feel important.

  • Mencken Sense||

    Last I checked, people are free to reproduce as much as they want.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's a bit of a circular argument. I know probably half-a-dozen couples who kept having kids until they got the gender they wanted. On the one hand, it reaffirms what ENB is saying, we typically have the opposite of the sex-selection abortion problem in this country. On the other hand, the typical family is willing to put up with several decades of raising several girls children of an undesired gender rather than abort a single one.

  • Rhywun||

    I don't have a strong opionion on abortion but I do tire of loaded language like "reproductive freedom". Give me a break!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Make it gay and I'm on board.

  • Just Say'n||

    That's messed-up. Why would you legislate against eugenics? Do they even 'woke', brah?

  • esteve7||

    What if it was a bill for down syndrome and not sex? The leftist practiced Eugenics before and they will do it again.

    It's scary in Europe how they've come full circle from the Nazi's in 1932. We need to get rid of the undesirables because they cost too much money to the state. That's what they are now doing with assisted suicide especially in the nordic countries---- you know grandma, you cost too much money, have you thought about killing yourself? Or mr. disabled person, you cost 10x for healthcare what an average person does, maybe you should just end it.

    The fact this isn't getting more attention is scary

  • Rhywun||

    It's Europe. It's not like the left wants the US to be like Europe or anything. I mean, come on.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "What if it was a bill for down syndrome and not sex?"
    Down's Syndrome is specially FAVORED here in the USA if the GOP gets it's way! GOP is in favor of dysgenics, that is... My comments from further above are repeated below...

    Well, sort of... This is "dead baby business" with a NEW and anti-eugenic (retrograde) spin!

    Smart parents who are smart enough to LIE about why they want the abortion, will get the abortion!

    Parents who are entirely too-too stupid to lie about their motives, will go ahead and have (bring to term) the otherwise-would-have-been-aborted child.

    So net-net, this new law will select for, and promote, stupidity!

    See also recent Reason web page http://reason.com/blog/2017/11.....n-syndrome = "Ban on Abortion Because of Down Syndrome Clears Ohio Legislature
    A amendment from Democrats says no state money can go to defending the law in court.", article also by ENB, same as here.

    Summary: Normal babies? No special protection… But DS retards are to be specially protected!
    So we have brewing here, on multiple fronts, dysgenic human breeding programs sponsored by none other than Government Almighty! Punk group DEVO were prophets… "Are we not men? We are Devo!" … AKA, we are de-evolving. Thank You Government Almighty!

  • JuanQPublic||

    That's what they are now doing with assisted suicide especially in the nordic countries---- you know grandma, you cost too much money, have you thought about killing yourself?

    There is something called an advance directive that addresses this issue, if used. It outlines the wishes of end-of-life decisions for oneself. Of course, there is no large PR campaign about it and Americans generally self-delude over issues surrounding death, but there is certainly an avenue for dictating one's own wishes.

  • esteve7||

    that has nothing to do with the state pressuring you to kill yourself because you cost it too much money.

  • JuanQPublic||

    The U.S. is a common law country. Not sure of the relevance of what they supposedly do in Norway.

  • BYODB||

    If we go to single payer you can expect that the elderly will be thrown under the bus first since they consume the vast majority of all American healthcare, yet are some of the least productive citizens. It only makes sense that a central planning authority will curb costs by killing the elderly through care rationing.

    In fact, it's the only way such a system could even theoretically work since supply and demand will still exist. Those laws you can't just throw away.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Wagner has history of introducing legislation on hot-button issues that either has no chance of passing or will lead to little to no change if passed.

    Wagner Most of Congress.

  • NoVaNick||

    While I generally support a right to choose (on abortion and all other matters), I do wonder how long it will be before one of the "pro-reproductive freedom" types decides that there must be a constitutional right to euthanize a baby within the first two weeks after birth if the mom doesn't want it, using the argument that its brain isn't fully developed, and therefore it is not really a person. I know this is a very extreme position, but I can see it happening, and the progs fully taking up the cause.

  • BYODB||

    That's already the effective argument, in that the fetus isn't a person until some magic happens at an unknown date that imbues it with theoretical personhood. I'm guessing it's around the time it gets a social security number.

    Abortion policy pretends that we can know, definitively, when a person becomes a person. Nothing bad has ever happened when we starting defining which people have rights, right?

  • Vernon Depner||

    When does the magic happen that causes a pregnant women to lose her personhood so that her body can be seized for the use of the fetus against her will?

  • BYODB||

    You're barking up the wrong tree since I'm generally pro-choice, but the question seems to have a clear answer since it requires some action on the part of the women to get to that point doesn't it? Or do babies just happen?

    Believe me, I've cited the natural law reasoning behind legal abortion many times. I get it. I also get the pro-life arguments, too, in that women made a choice already by the time a pregnancy is an issue.

    The question is, perhaps, why are woman so unaccountable that they need so many mulligans for a basic biological process?

    Factually speaking you have no idea at what point awareness begins for any individual fetus.

    And now, back to your regularly scheduled argument of 'cuz rape and incest!' which is a minority of a minority of a minority of a minority of a minority of abortions. Whoohoo, salience!

  • esteve7||

    that's a really bizarre way of framing it. Do I need to explain biology to you?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Biology does not offer any answers to these questions.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    Margaret Sanger has a sad with ENB. Thankfully I've discovered the sammich making gene so I'll be weeding out the non sammich makers soon.

  • Wally Ford||

    I think it is just another slight of hand trick - oh look over her while they distract us do something even more sinister.

  • Wally Ford||

    here not her

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