We’ve all cringed at the stories about parents in Asia, limited to having only one child, aborting female fetuses in favor of a male. But is that also a problem in the United States?
Things got heated on Friday’s Hardball when Chris Matthews butted heads with Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns over the House’s rejection of a bill that would have banned abortions based on the gender of the fetus. The Prenatal Nondescrimination Act (PRENDA) would have made it a federal crime to perform or force a woman to have a sex-based abortion, a fairly common practice in some Asian countries.
“This is pure politics,” Matthews said. “You’re against a woman’s right to make a decision in this regard across the board, so this is one step forward in terms of your ultimate goal.”
Stearns argued the bill wasn’t about targeting one group of people or about the GOP’s anti-abortion agenda. Citing a study from the National Academy of Science, he claimed there is evidence that gender-based abortions are happening in America.
Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat from Maryland, was on hand to explain why the bill wasn’t about saving female embryos:
“This is really ridiculous. The Republicans, on one hand, don’t want us to say there’s a war on women, and yet every single week there’s some new measure to ban abortion, to end family planning. They don’t want to provide for family planning, but then they want to prevent so-called sex-based abortions…finding a problem that really doesn’t exist in this country to merit a level of national policy.”