NCJW Denounces House Committee Vote on Anti-Abortion Bill

February 17, 2012, Washington, DC — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) decried Thursday’s vote by the House Committee on the Judiciary in favor of the so-called Susan B Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act (HR 3541, or PRENDA), a thinly disguised anti-abortion measure. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“The so-called Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA), passed yesterday by the House Judiciary Committee, is yet another effort in the ongoing war by anti-choice members of Congress to make abortion inaccessible. This latest attempt would intimidate patients and providers through the threat of criminal penalties and invasive state enquiry into personal health care decisions. This bill falsely claims to be a tool for ending racial and sex discrimination, but its real aim is to undermine women’s access to abortion by threatening imprisonment for abortion providers if an abortion on the basis of fetal race or sex can be proven. NCJW strongly opposes PRENDA as an appalling attack on the reproductive freedom of women generally, and of minority women in particular.

“PRENDA would mandate inappropriate state and judicial scrutiny of a woman’s private health care decisions — primarily and unfairly targeting women of color and health care providers who serve communities of color. The bill does nothing to address real racial or gender discrimination or related health disparities, and the committee proved that doing so was not their ultimate goal when they voted down amendments seeking to “promote gender equality and change social norms which allow the discrimination of women.” Instead of promoting equality, PRENDA would discriminate against women of color by subjecting their health care decisions to stricter examination than other women, when the state has no business interfering in the dialogue between a woman and her doctor or inquiring into the reasons for any woman’s abortion. The US Constitution protects a woman’s right to make that decision based on her own moral and religious beliefs.

“NCJW advocates will work to defeat PRENDA when it reaches the full House and Senate for a vote.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Contact: Emily Alfano
202 296 2588 × 5;

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