During PRENDA Debate, Anti-Choice Groups Try To Turn ‘War On Women’ Against Democrats

After Republicans opposed expanding contraception access and would not back the Violence Against Women Act until it had been watered down, Democrats accused the party of waging a war on women.

But ahead of tomorrow’s vote on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), a bill that would ban physicians from performing abortions based on the fetus’ sex, anti-choice organizations have clumsily attempted to co-opt the “war on women” meme. Even though it is a measure that addresses a non-existing problem, the groups are warning members of Congress to support it:

— “Planned Parenthood is out of control, waging a ruthless war against young women and their (female) babies.” [Traditional Values Coalition email]

— “This is a real war on women. And it is wrong when we turn a blind eye to women being eliminated in the womb simply for being a member of the female sex.” [Americans United for Life letter]

— “Members who recently have embraced contrived political rhetoric asserting they are resisting a ‘war on women’ must reflect on whether they wish to be recorded as being defenders of the escalating war on baby girls.” [National Right to Life Committee letter]

And during floor debate today about PRENDA, GOP House members claimed the sex-selective abortion ban was part of the “war on women” as well:

— “This is the ultimate war on women. If we don’t allow women to be born, we cannot talk about any other rights.” [Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY)]

“Sex selection is violence against women and it is the truest kind of war against women.” [Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)]

Republicans may echo the anti-abortion advocates and try to claim PRENDA would stop a “war on women,” but it is a discriminatory bill that does not address equal rights for women. Rather than addressing inequality, PRENDA simply would exacerbate sex and race discrimination by targeting women of color from communities associated with sex selection whom doctors might suspect of wanting to have a prohibited abortion.