Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on H.R. 3541, as amended, currently under consideration.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act we are debating at this moment simply says that an unborn child cannot be discriminated against by subjecting him to an abortion based on the sex of the child. Because between 40 and 50 percent of African American babies--nearly one in two--are killed by abortion, which is five times, Mr. Speaker, the rate of white children, I believe with all of my heart that this bill should also prohibit race-targeted abortion as it did when the bill was first introduced.
It is my hope that by protecting unborn children from being aborted based on their sex that one day very soon we will also recognize the humanity and justice of protecting unborn children regardless of their race or color as well, and simply because we recognize them as fellow human beings.
Mr. Speaker, worldwide sex-selection abortion has now left the human family on Earth with approximately 200 million missing baby girls. Various United Nations organizations have battled sex-selection abortion for years. These agencies routinely refer to sex-selection abortion as ``an extreme form of violence against women.''
In the New Atlantis magazine, political economist Nicholas Eberstadt, of the American Enterprise Institute, said:
In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls.
In 2007, the United States spearheaded a U.N. resolution to condemn sex-selection abortion worldwide; yet here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we are the only advanced country left in the world that still doesn't restrict sex-selection abortion in any way.
Mr. Speaker, a number of academic papers have now published evidence that the practice of sex-selection abortion is demonstrably increasing here in the United States, especially, but not exclusively, in the Asian immigrant community. [Page: H3183]
A study by researchers at the University of Connecticut, which was published in Prenatal Diagnosis, found that the male-to-female live birth sex ratio in the United States for Chinese, Asian Indians, and Koreans clearly exceeded biological variation for third births and beyond. Mr. Speaker, deliberate prenatal sex selection is the only plausible explanation.
Dr. Sunita Puri and three other researchers at the University of California interviewed 65 immigrant Indian women in the United States who had sought or were seeking sex-selection abortion. They found that 40 percent of the women interviewed had deliberately aborted unborn baby girls previously and that nearly 90 percent of the women who were currently carrying unborn baby girls were also currently seeking to abort them.
This was an incredibly powerful study, Mr. Speaker. It discussed in detail the multiple forms of pressure and outright coercion to which these women are often subjected. Sixty-two percent of the women described verbal abuse from their husbands or female in-laws, and fully one-third of women described past physical abuse and neglect, all related specifically to their failing to produce a male child. As a result, these women reported aborting multiple unborn baby girls in a row because of the pressure
that was put on them to have a male child.
Mr. Speaker, sex-selection abortion is extreme violence against both unborn baby girls and their mothers. It has been a primary enforcement mechanism for China's forced abortion and ``one child'' policy for many years. It has dramatically increased sex trafficking and violence against women due to the imbalanced sex ratios left in its wake across the world, and we now know that it is a tragic circumstance into which many women are also being coerced. This evil practice has now allowed thousands
of little girls in America and millions of little girls across the world to be brutally dismembered, most of them in their second or third trimester and when they are capable of feeling extreme pain, simply because they were little girls instead of little boys, Mr. Speaker.
Sex selection is violence against women, and it is the truest kind of war against women, and it has now brought humanity to a place where the three deadliest words on this Earth are ``it's a girl.'' What in God's name have we come to, Mr. Speaker? I've often asked myself what finally enlightened and changed the hearts of those across history who have either perpetrated or supported or ignored the atrocities and human genocides of their day.
While I probably will never fully understand, I believe I caught a glimpse of the answer from my 3-year-old little girl, Gracie. As I was holding her and we were watching her favorite laughing baby videos on YouTube, I inadvertently clicked on a video that showed a young man from China who was playing poignant and beautiful music on the piano with his feet because both of his arms had been amputated when he was a child.
In trying to seize on a teaching moment, Mr. Speaker, I said, ``Look at that, Gracie. He's playing the piano with his feet. Isn't that amazing?''
But with a stricken little look on her face, Gracie said, ``But, Daddy, he doesn't have any arms.''
I said, ``I know, Baby, and that's very sad, isn't it?''
And she said, ``Oh, Daddy, it is very sad. We've got to help him. We've just got to. We've got to get some arms and give it to him.''
I said, ``But, Baby, there aren't any extra arms. They're all hooked onto other people.''
And she thought for a moment and looked at me with wet little eyes and pulled up her sleeve and held up her little arm and said, ``But, Daddy, can I give him one of my arms if it will fit on him?''
Across human history, the greatest and most loving voices among us have always emphasized the critical responsibility each of us has to recognize and cherish the light of divine, eternal humanity shining in the soul of every last one of our fellow human beings. I believe there is an answer to some of these seemingly unanswerable questions, Mr. Speaker, that face the human families and how we see each other. On that YouTube video, I saw an amazing young man who played heart-stirring music with
his feet, but my little girl saw a child of God who had no arms and wanted to give him one of hers.
And how very thankful I am that my little Gracie was not one of the hundreds of millions of little girls whose lives and hearts were torn from this world before they ever saw the light of sunrise simply because they were little girls instead of little boys.
I know that this Congress deals with many controversial issues where it is sometimes difficult for Republicans and Democrats to find common ground, but I refuse to believe that we cannot find enough humanity in this body to conclude together that it is wrong to knowingly kill unborn children because they are baby girls instead of baby boys.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. I misspoke when I referred to Ms. Waters as the ranking member of the Housing Subcommittee. That honor goes to the Congressman from Illinois (Mr. Gutierrez). So I just wanted to correct that. Ms. Waters was the former chairman of the Housing Subcommittee. All of us worked together in such a way, but I did want to correct that as Mr. Gutierrez as the ranking member
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Members of the House, I want to thank the leadership on the other side for requiring that the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, the gentleman from Arizona, drop ``race'' from this Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, so-called. So it's now just sex selection.
This is the latest in a long series of measures intended to chip away at a woman's right to seek safe and legal medical care. It tramples the rights of women under the guise of nondiscrimination while doing absolutely nothing to provide women with the needed resources so that their babies--female and male--can come into the world healthy, and so that both mother and child can thrive.
I am grateful that the proponents of this bill have stopped making the ridiculous charge that I used to hear, that reproductive freedom is worse than slavery, and invoking at the same time the name of the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass in the service of their cause. It was deeply offensive, and I'm glad that we won't have to listen to that anymore.
Mr. Speaker, at this point, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I would now yield 2 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he is the chairman of the Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights Subcommittee.
Mrs. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3541, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, PRENDA, introduced by Representative Trent Franks.
As the mother of a daughter, I am disturbed by what I am hearing about sex selection occurring in the United States. A 2008 Columbia University report found that there is strong son bias and there is clear evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage. The victims of sex-selection abortions are predominantly female and most are later term, which means that these gruesome abortions are occurring after the child becomes pain capable.
In 2007, the United States spearheaded an international resolution to condemn sex selection; however, there are no laws preventing or prohibiting the practice in the United States. And while I stand here, I think about just yesterday as I watched as my little granddaughter--inside her mother's womb--turned towards that ultrasound.
This issue of life is a divisive one in politics, but I think all Americans can agree aborting babies because they are the wrong sex is just plain wrong.
Let's put a stop to this egregious practice, and let's pass this legislation.
Mr. NADLER. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the so-called ``Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act.''
Today, the Republican majority continues its war on women in a new and creative way, by attempting to couch legislation that would destroy women's fundamental constitutional rights as a women's rights law. It is cynical, but creative.
Trying to destroy women's constitutional rights, and pretending that it is somehow being pro-woman, plays well to the far-right wing base, but does nothing to help American families get [Page: H3184]
on their feet and put people back to work.
This bill criminalizes abortion prior to viability. It makes pre-viability abortions a crime under certain circumstances, a flagrantly unconstitutional provision under Roe v. Wade.
Under this bill, a relative who disagreed with a woman's choice would be able to sue a doctor simply by alleging that the woman had an impermissible motive. The doctor would face years of litigation at great expense. A relative could even obtain an injunction blocking an abortion from going forward merely by alleging that the abortion is being done for the purposes of sex selection. While the matter is being litigated, the pregnancy would go forward so that, regardless of the merits, a woman
would be compelled by a court injunction to proceed with her pregnancy against her will, perhaps to have an abortion at a much later stage with a much more mature fetus.
Any clinic employee who suspected--merely suspected--that a woman's motives ran afoul of this law would have a legal obligation, under penalty of prison, to report that suspicion to law enforcement.
How would this affect the basic practice of medicine?
H.R. 3541 would force health care providers to inquire into women's reasons for seeking abortion services. Physicians would have to consider whether women seeking routine non-abortion services, such as determining the sex of the fetus, might then use that information in deciding whether to continue a pregnancy.
Given the severe civil and criminal penalties in this bill, doctors would be forced to police their patients, read their minds, and conceal information from them. The failure to do so would put medical professionals at risk of prosecution and lawsuits.
This bill is facially unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has held, beginning with Roe v. Wade and in Casey and subsequent cases, that the decision of whether to have a child or whether to end a pregnancy is a private one. Up until the point of viability, the government may not make that decision for a woman. Following viability, the government may regulate or bar an abortion, except when the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.
The preference for male children is a real, if limited, phenomenon in the United States. Some women face familial and community preference to have male children, and that pressure can increase with each subsequent birth. But this bill does nothing to help those women.
This bill cites the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women as urging governments to prevent sex-selective abortions, but it ignores the concerns of those who work on this problem, such as the U.N. Population Fund, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the U.N. Children's Fund, the U.N. Women, and the World Health Organization, that abortion restrictions are not the solution because they put women's health and lives in jeopardy and violate women's human and reproductive
Where is the legislation providing women with the means to achieve independence so that they are not subject to community and family pressures? My Republican colleagues opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that would have done just that. We all had to watch the charade recently where Republicans pretended they weren't going after the Violence Against Women Act with a meat-ax. Where is the support for family planning services so we have fewer unplanned pregnancies and, therefore, fewer abortions?
Where is the commitment to maternal and child health programs?
But all this costs money, it won't do anything to undermine Roe v. Wade, and it doesn't play well in the world of abortion politics.
I urge the Members of this House to reject this cynical, dishonest, and hypocritical legislation.
Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Arizona for his leadership on this issue and many other issues, and I come to the floor here in strong support of the PRENDA Act.
The very idea of sex-selection abortion, gendercide, as it was so aptly named, brought back to mind for me a story that I heard from a man whom I admired. His name was Gil Copper. Sadly, we lost him back in 2010.
Gil Copper was a World War II veteran who volunteered with Merrill's Marauders in Asia and marched across those areas in India and Burma to take on the Japanese behind the scenes. Gil Copper picked up and was awarded one Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, one Combat Infantry Badge, and one Purple Heart.
Gil Copper spent his time off in Asia under the bridge in New Delhi, India, standing in the Ganges River listening for the splash. Standing there day or night, any time he had off, he was listening for the splash of a little baby girl that would often and regularly be tossed off the bridge into the river to drown because the culture in India cherished boys and didn't cherish girls. Gil Copper would swim out there and pick up those little girls that were floating then in the filthy Ganges River
and swim back with them and dry them off and carry them to the Catholic orphanage in New Delhi. He saved scores of lives during that period of time.
That culture has arrived here in this country, and this bill puts an end to that kind of culture that would select baby girls for death.
Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, this bill is not about civil rights, but it's simply another attempt to chip away at a woman's right to choose. It's part of the Republican war on women, also known as WOW. I'm like, Wow, why are we continuing to attack women like this? Wow, it's men against women.
What's happening is we're in a political year, ladies and gentlemen, and politics has been good to the Republicans as of late. They have pitted people who favor immigration against those who do not support it. They have divided people on affirmative action from African Americans. They have divided people on the issue of gays living in America. These are all diversionary issues. They've been attacking labor and saying that it is because of labor that you don't have what you should have.
It's a political season, and so this is what they are doing with this bill. It's pitting the men against the women.
This bill seeks to prohibit discrimination against the unborn on the basis of gender, but it's really part of the divide-and-conquer approach that has been hugely successful for these Republicans. It would require doctors to become mind readers, ladies and gentlemen, and require them to determine what the sex of the child is and whether or not that is a factor in a woman's determination to have an abortion. It's ridiculous.
It's shameful many of the supporters of this bill are the same ones who voted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. That's funding that would have helped prevent unintended pregnancies. They also voted, ladies and gentlemen, to repeal, and repeatedly they have voted to repeal, the Affordable Care Act, which has improved the health of uninsured women and children. Recently, they supported Rush Limbaugh in his attack on women and access to contraception.
You see, this is part of the war on women. Wow. The record is shameful and it's clear.
Instead of divisive attacks on a woman's right to choose, we should unite behind policies that prevent unintended pregnancies in the first place. I urge a ``no'' vote.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Buerkle), a member of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee.
Ms. BUERKLE. I thank the gentleman from Arizona for his excellent work on this important bill.
I rise this afternoon in support of H.R. 3541 as a woman, as a mother of four daughters, and as a grandmother of three granddaughters.
Mr. Speaker, there can be no rights for women if we don't allow them the right to life. What we are hearing from the other side this afternoon is about money and about political campaigns and about the rhetoric of the war on women. This is the ultimate war on women, Mr. Speaker. If we don't allow women to be born, we cannot talk about any other rights.
So I stand here today, and I urge all of my female colleagues in this House of Representatives to stand together and support H.R. 3541.
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished physician, the gentleman from Washington, the Honorable Dr. McDermott.
(Mr. McDERMOTT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, as I listen to this debate, I am not sure if we are talking about India or China, but where are we talking about here? The Republicans have set up another straw man.
This bill is another Republican attack on women's rights at the same time it's masquerading as an antidiscrimination bill. It's about as cynical and deceptive as anything I've seen on the floor.
I ask the proponents of this bill: If you care, Mr. Speaker, if they care about discrimination against women, why did they vote in the last Congress against women's rights to challenge gender-based pay discrimination? Why did you also vote to allow health insurers to continue charging women higher premiums based on their sex?
These votes are on the record. That's what you think of women.
My friend, this bill is not what it claims to be. It is not about fighting discrimination against women. It is the opposite. It is another Republican intrusion into a woman's right to choose. Women should be able to make such [Page: H3186]
sensitive and private decisions with their families, their doctors, and their God, free from the fear of the police.
What are you going to do, set up a registry every time they do a sonogram and they decide what the baby is, girl or boy, they are going to post it and then they are going to follow? If that woman then decides to have an abortion, well, she is getting rid of a girl, so we are going to criminally charge her with making that decision on the basis of the sex of the child. That's what kind of nonsense you are setting up.
For people who don't want government in people's lives, who argue over and over and over about keeping the government--in fact, we don't want ObamaCare. We don't want government in our lives at all. But in this one, you want them to go right into the personal mind of the woman and decide and criminally charge her.
Do you think that's going to do any good? You simply are attacking women's rights.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Of course, the gentleman knows there's no criminal thing in this bill for the women. That's an unfortunate fallacy.
I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Louisiana, Dr. Fleming, a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Mr. FLEMING. I want to thank the gentleman, Mr. Franks of Arizona, for authoring this fine bill.
You know, I find that gender-oriented abortion is problematic for two reasons. Number one is very obvious. The taking of an innocent life merely because that child happens to be a boy or a girl certainly goes against all the values that we hold true in America. But, secondly, because of the technology requiring that you are well into the second trimester even to determine the gender of the fetus means that we're talking about a mid- to late-term abortion, something that is so brutal.
Mr. Speaker, as a family physician and a father of four, two boys and two girls, I have delivered over 300 babies in my career. Each and every child, regardless of his or her gender, is a unique individual, deserving of equal protection under the law. The American people agree with me on this. In fact, polls show that over two-thirds of Americans are supportive of eliminating abortion practices tailored to destroy babies because of their gender.
Gender aside, which is really what this is, the deliberate annihilation of a particular sex, often unborn female children, as we know, generally occurs midway through pregnancy. These late-term abortions are grisly procedures, where the condemned is often poisoned or dismembered before being extracted from the womb, sometimes in pieces. Medical evidence shows that, at a minimum, unborn babies can experience pain at 20 weeks.
I ask my colleagues to support this bill, H.R. 3541.
Ms. LEE of California. First, let me thank Congressman Conyers for yielding the time, but also for your very bold and relentless leadership as our ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee.
I rise today as a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and also as the Health Care Task Force chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. I rise in strong opposition to this bill.
Supporters of this bill claim that the legislation would combat sex-selection abortion and prevent the United States from becoming a safe haven for women seeking an abortion based on the sex of the pregnancy.
Here we go again. This war on women continues. And this, quite frankly, is a shocking battle in this war. It really is shock and awe.
Don't get me wrong. Of course we all are opposed to sex-selection abortion based on gender. That's not what this is about. This is about women's health care and gender discrimination.
Let me read a paragraph from a letter signed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other groups:
If passed into law, this bill would require that medical and mental health professionals violate doctor-patient confidentiality and report known or suspected violations of the law to law enforcement authorities. The penalty for failure to report is a fine or incarceration of up to 1 year.
Shock and awe. This is a continuation of the war on women.
There are those who have been actively working to reverse much of the progress women have made by declaring this war on women that includes stripping reproductive rights for women and cutting critical Title X funding and for the WIC nutrition program for low-income infants and pregnant women. And yes, this war on women continues with slashed funding for food stamps and day care spending.
Let's call it what it is, Mr. Speaker. Supporters of this bill really are exploiting serious issues like racism and sexism in a backdoor attempt to make abortion illegal. It would also lead to further stigmatization of women, especially Asian Pacific American women, who seek their constitutional rights to an abortion.
The ramifications are real, and they are very dangerous. Attempts to restrict or deny access to safe abortions is harmful to women's health and would ultimately take us back to the days of back-alley abortions.
Ms. LEE of California. I thank the gentleman.
If this bill passes, it would forever change the doctor-patient relationship as we know it by casting suspicion on doctors that serve communities facing the greatest health disparities, many of which are minority communities.
As a woman of faith, I have always believed that decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health professional. Politics--government--has no place preventing doctors and other health professionals from informing patients about all their health care options, and doctors should not be criminalized for providing constitutionally protected care.
If supporters are really serious about advancing the real interest of women, I urge them to vote ``no'' on this bill. We need to work together to ensure that all women have meaningful access to the health care that they need to stay healthy and to improve their own lives and their children's lives.
We need to make sure that women get equal pay for equal jobs.
Ms. LEE of California. I just want to conclude by saying if you really care about women and their children and their families, we need to work to end wage discrimination in this country. We need to work to end domestic violence that's tearing apart families across this country and reauthorize a real Violence Against Women's Act. We need to reject this insidious attack on Roe v. Wade.
Mr. STEARNS. Let me say to the gentlelady and to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Nadler: This is a war on ethics or WOE. You talk about a war on women. This is a war on ethics. Woe to you if you vote against this bill.
Mr. Nadler was down here talking about this bill and how he's going to vote against it. But let me ask you: Is there anybody in this Chamber that wants to vote against sex-selection abortion? Is that what you want to do? The coercion of sex-selection abortion, is that what you want to do? The solicitation or acceptance of funds for sex-selection abortion, you want to vote against that? And lastly, the transportation of a woman into the country to obtain a sex-selection abortion, you
want to vote against that?
Woe to you. War on ethics. This is wrong for you to do that.
In a recent letter, the Planned Parenthood has once again chosen to put profits before women's well-being and is encouraging Members of Congress to [Page: H3187]
oppose this legislation, reinforcing sex discrimination and positioning the United States of America as a safe haven for those who cannot legally acquire a sex-selection abortion in their own home countries. But this is not surprising, considering Planned Parenthood's record.
As chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, I have led an investigation into Planned Parenthood's use of the more than $1 million of Federal funds they receive every day and their compliance with sexual assault and child abuse reporting laws. This was the first ever such investigation in Planned Parenthood's history.
Planned Parenthood has an extensive and well-documented record of improper Medicaid billing practices--all of you know that; you can go to the State of California and New York and read about those indictments--and violating State sexual assault and child abuse reporting laws and of encouraging young girls to simply lie about their ages to circumvent State reporting laws.
These four things in this bill, woe to you--war on ethics--if you vote against this bill. And I am just amazed that people of strong religious belief would come on this floor and say that you're going to believe that sex-selection abortion is okay. I can't even comprehend what you're doing.
So let me just close by saying I encourage all of my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, to support this lifesaving legislation and ban sex-selection abortions and to send a clear message that each and every girl is valued in our society.
Mrs. BLACKBURN. I rise in support of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, and I thank the gentleman from Arizona for his leadership on the issue.
Simply put, this bill gives baby girls the same chance at life as our baby boys, Mr. Speaker. I think it's hypocrisy to say that one is pro-woman and that it's okay to end the life of an unborn child just because of its gender. Since when did America subscribe to the idea that males are worth more than females?
We know that sex-selection abortions happen all over the world, as was evidenced and certainly brought to light by human rights activists like Mr. Chen, who fled to America this month. But according to at least six academic studies published in the past 4 years, this tragic reality is playing out in our own backyard. Just this week, an undercover video showed a Planned Parenthood employee encouraging a woman to obtain a late-term abortion because she was purportedly carrying a girl, and she wanted
to have a boy instead.
A vote against ending sex-selection abortion is a vote in favor of gender bias and female gendercide. A vote against is a vote for organized and systematic subtraction of women in America through targeted abortions. It's sick, it's discriminatory, it's sexist, and it's blatantly antiwoman and antihuman.
It's no surprise that a poll conducted this month by the Charlotte Lozier Institute showed 80 percent of women in this country support a law banning abortion in cases where the sole reason for seeking an abortion is that the developing baby is female.
I support the legislation, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I would just like to remind my colleagues that from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we have this warning:
We oppose this bill because it does not in any way adjust discrimination on the basis of sex or race. Rather, it is a veiled attempt to restrict health care for women of color under the guise of civil rights.
This is the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
This bill tramples the rights of women under the guise of nondiscrimination while doing absolutely nothing to provide women with needed resources for their babies, female and male, so they can come into this world healthy and so both the mother and the child can thrive.
This measure before us does absolutely nothing to empower women to make important life choices free from any family or community pressures they now face either to have an abortion, or to carry the pregnancy to term. In fact, it fails to employ the tested solutions that will reduce the pressures brought to bear on women to have sons. Experience around the world has shown that supporting women, providing them with tools to become independent and to be safe from violence, rather than criminal prohibitions,
helps them resist the pressures of son preference. International organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Women, and the World Health Organization have all said that abortion restrictions are not the solution because they put women's health and lives at risk and violate their human and reproductive rights.
Please, join us and these organizations who are familiar with the phenomenon of son preference and oppose H.R. 3541.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I would now yield 2 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he is the chairman of the Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights Subcommittee.
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Ladies and gentlemen of the House, if this measure is passed into law, we would then require that medical and mental health professionals violate doctor-patient confidentiality and report ``known or suspected violations'' of the law to law enforcement authorities. The penalty for failure to report would be a fine or incarceration.
Now, it is not by accident, Members of the House, that this measure is opposed by these outstanding organizations: the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American Public Health Association; Association of Reproductive Health Professionals; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; Medical Students for Choice; National Abortion Federation; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health; National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association; Physicians
for Reproductive Health and Choice; and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Now, this is something that would chill communications between doctors and patients because doctors might hear something that would put them at risk for criminal prosecution, and patients because they would fear that their conversations with their doctors would not remain private. And so what we're doing here is taking the most drastic step that would cause these nine organizations to oppose this legislation.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.