The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

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Rep. Trent Franks' Latest Anti-Choice Attack Takes Politics to a New Low

Anti-choice politician with five-percent rating on civil rights, who also voted against prenatal care and equal pay, is launching race- and sex-based attacks on choice


Today, the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing on a bill introduced by anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) that could erect new barriers to reproductive-health care for women and perpetuate stereotypes about immigrant communities and communities of color.

"No woman's reproductive choices should be subjected to more scrutiny or control based on her racial or ethnic background," Keenan said. "Nor should women be stigmatized for their choices. These efforts represent cynical politics at their worst, and are out of touch with our nation's values and priorities."

The bill, the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011, could subject a doctor to up to five years in prison for failing to determine if race or sex is a factor in a woman's decision to terminate a pregnancy.

"The Franks bill exploits the very real problems of racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination while failing to offer any genuine solutions that would eliminate disparities in health care access and information," Keenan continued. "Rather than attacking a woman's right to choose, lawmakers with a sincere interest in addressing racism and gender bias should support policies that work to combat the bias and stereotypes that continue to plague our society. This alternative approach would unify - not divide - our country and could achieve important advances without taking away any woman's right to make her own personal, private medical decisions."

Keenan also said Rep. Franks currently has a five-percent rating from the NAACP on civil rights; has voted against the equal-pay bill; voted not to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program; and backed efforts to cut funding for prenatal care and contraception.

The hearing is yet another example of how the anti-choice House of Representatives' priorities are out of touch with the country's values and priorities. Since January, the House has held eight votes on choice-related issues (the highest number since 2000).

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its state affiliates submitted testimony to the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution which has been made available on our website.

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.