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'Gendercide' abortion ban fails in House

May 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A proposal to ban abortions based on the gender of a fetus failed to pass in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The practice known as "Gendercide" often involves aborting a baby girl because of a preference to have a boy. It's most common in some Asian countries where families wanting sons abort female fetuses.

The vote came just days after a pro-life group released undercover video calling attention to the issue of sex-selected abortions.

The measure would have imposed possible fines and possible prison sentences on doctors who knowingly performed abortions based on sex. The ban failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

The White House, most Democrats, abortion rights groups and some Asian-American organizations opposed the bill, saying it could lead to racial profiling of Asian-American women and subject doctors who do not report suspected sex-selection abortions to criminal charges.

The bill had little chance of becoming law because the Democratic-controlled Senate would likely have ignored it.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House's No. 2 Democrat, said he thought the bill was introduced because "somebody decided politically that this was a difficult place to put people in."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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