Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination Act now heads to the Senate
On Thursday, HB 701, the Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) authored by Rep. Lenar Whitney (R-Houma), passed through the Louisiana House of Representatives by a bi-partisan vote of 81-2. The bill had 21 representatives join as co-authors.
Ryan Verret, Associate Director of Louisiana Right to Life, was at the Capitol with Rep. Whitney and made the following comments after House passage:
“We are grateful to the Louisiana House for taking a strong step today to protect unborn baby girls and boys in Louisiana from sex-selective abortion. This legislation will also ensure that many women considering abortion will know before their abortion if their baby is a girl or boy. This continues Louisiana’s goal of empowering women with medical facts about their pregnancies and unborn babies prior to an abortion.
“We are proud of Rep. Whitney’s leadership on HB 701. She faced tough questions today and confidently navigated the legislation to an overwhelming bipartisan House passage. The best quote of the day was when she said, ‘I will stand in the fire for life.’
“We anticipate full consideration of HB 701 in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and look forward to Senate passage,” Verret added.
HB 701 accomplishes two main tasks that are in the best interest of the people of Louisiana.
- First, it 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.
* Worldwide, studies show that over 160 million baby girls are missing due to sex-selective abortions, primarily from Asian nations.
* A 2009 New York Times study shows that this is occurring more and more within U.S. borders.
* If this law passes, it will prohibit abortion facilities from performing an abortion if they know that the reason for the abortion is based on the sex of the unborn baby.
- Second, HB 701 requires that abortion physicians make their best efforts in accord with standard of care medical practices to determine the sex of the baby and inform the woman if the sex can be determined.
* Many women that are having abortions in Louisiana are not told the sex of their unborn baby prior to an abortion, even though basic ultrasound technology can determine the sex of the baby in an accurate manner.
* 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 as possible.