HB 701 Sails Through Louisiana Health and Welfare Committee

Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination and Sex-Disclosure Act Moves to House

Louisiana State Rep. Lenar Whitney

Louisiana State Rep. Lenar Whitney

The Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination and Sex-Disclosure Act (HB 701) sailed through the House Health and Welfare Committee today without opposition.

With amendments added to the legislation today, HB 701, authored by Rep. Lenar Whitney, R-Houma, accomplishes two main objectives:

First, HB 701 protects babies from sex-selective abortion, which occurs most often when abortion is being performed because the baby is a girl instead of a boy. Studies show that across the world millions of baby girls are missing from our society due to this violent form of gender discrimination. If this legislation passes, it will prohibit abortion facilities from performing an abortion if they know the reason for the abortion is based on the sex of the unborn baby.

Second, HB 701 requires that, after 10 weeks post-fertilization age of the unborn child, the abortion physicians make their best efforts in accord with standard medical practices to determine the sex of the baby and inform the woman if the sex can be determined. If in the abortion physician’s best judgment the sex cannot be determined, he must share that information with the woman as well. This furthers the long tradition of our Woman’s Right to Know law empowering women with as much medical information about their pregnancy and the physiological characteristics of their unborn child.

Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, testified today in favor of the legislation. He made the following comments afterwards:

“Our sex, whether we are male or female, is an essential element of who we are as human persons. Unborn babies are no different. Abortion should never occur because a baby is a boy or a girl, and HB 701 ensures that in Louisiana, gender equality begins in the womb. In addition, mothers, even those considering abortion, should be informed of the sex of the baby prior to abortion if it is discoverable. Women have a right to know this critical information.

“We are appreciative to Rep. Whitney’s leadership, along with all members of the Health and Welfare Committee, especially Chairman Scott Simon and Vice Chairman Frank Hoffman,” Clapper concluded.

Editor’s note. This update was provided by Louisiana Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate and host of the 2015 NRLC Convention.