by Daniel Nussbaum 14 May 2014, 3:20 PM PDT
On Tuesday, thirteen Democrats on the California State Assembly Health Committee voted down a bill that would have outlawed the practice of sex selection through abortion.
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (AB 2336) ran into opposition by all of the Democrats on the committee, who saw the bill as a prelude to broader abortion restrictions, according to a report from LifeNews.com. Instead, Democrats introduced a resolution to condemn sex-selection abortion--but not to outlaw it.
The bill was introduced on May 6th by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), who said in her opening testimony that "the U.N. estimates that upwards of 200 million girls around the world have been aborted merely because they were 'the wrong gender.'" She explained that countries like India and China are dominated by a male-child mentality, with mothers preferring future working men and family providers over the "burden" of baby girls.
"This is the real war on women," Grove told the committee. "Girls are being killed simply for being girls and it's happening right here in California and not just Third World Nations."
Grove was referring to evidence that women in countries like China and India, where sex-selection and late-term abortions are illegal, may now be coming to California to get the procedure done, capitalizing on the state's loose abortion laws.
The Assemblywoman wanted to show a short video as evidence at the hearing, detailing a young woman's journey from India to California to receive a sex-selection abortion, but the Assembly turned down her request.
Grove then reiterated: "It's outlawed in India, but allowed in California, and people from other countries are coming to California because it's taxpayer-funded."
According to the LifeNews report, over 50 community members voiced their support for the bill at the hearing, outnumbering opponents of the bill 5-1. Grove said in her testimony that polling indicates 80% of the American people would want sex-selection abortion to be illegal, including a majority of those that identify themselves as pro-choice.
Still, the bill was defeated by a vote of 13-6, on straight party lines.
"The way the bill is crafted, it seems to be a significant roll back on a woman's right to choose and that's not something I'm prepared to support," said Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland).
"My constituents do not support this particular effort in restricting access to reproductive health services or interfering in that relationship that a woman has with her physician," said Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Culver City).
Chairman of the Assembly Health Committee Dr. Richard Pan reportedly called the practice of gender-selection abortion "abhorrent," but still voted against the bill, saying, "It actually criminalizes the discussion between a physician and their patient around reproductive choices."
Robert Smith, a spokesman for Assemblywoman Grove, told Breitbart News in a phone conversation that unfortunately, because of the legislative calendar, Grove would not be able to reintroduce the bill.
However, Smith also said that Democrats recently introduced ACR 149, a resolution condemning the practice of gender-selection abortion and designating the month of May as "Femicide and Gendercide Awareness and Prevention Month."
"The authors of this resolution oppose sex-selection abortion in theory, and will condemn it in a resolution. Yet they will not support a bill to actually outlaw the practice," Smith said.