WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 ( – President Obama opposes a House measure slated for a vote Thursday to ban the practice of abortion based on the unborn child’s gender.

ABC’s Jake Tapper reported Wednesday that the statement came after White House spokesman Jay Carney had declined to comment on the administration’s view of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA).

White House deputy press secretary Jamie Smith later in the evening said in a statement: “The Administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision.  The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.”


The statement puts the administration in line with Planned Parenthood, which has also opposed the bill. The abortion group this week confirmed that it had no policy against sex-selective abortions as new undercover videos were published online showing two of its employees, one in Texas and one in the Margaret Sanger Center in New York City, encouraging patients seeking abortions because the child is a girl.

In a statement Thursday morning, National Right to Life called Obama’s opposition to the bill “appalling.”

“It is appalling, but not surprising, that President Obama now stands with the pro-abortion political committees and his Hollywood donors, rather than with the coerced women, and their unborn daughters, who are victimized in sex-selection abortions,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.

The House will vote on PRENDA under “Suspension of the Rules,” which means that a two-thirds vote will be required for passage, according to NRLC. The roll call is expected to occur before 3 PM EDT today.

The bill would make it a federal offense to knowingly perform a sex-selection abortion or coerce a woman into such a procedure, or to transport a woman across state lines or into the United States to obtain a sex-selection abortion. The woman herself is not liable for prosecution.

The bill also specifically states, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require that a healthcare provider has an affirmative duty to inquire as to the motivation for the abortion, absent the healthcare provider having knowledge or information that the abortion is being sought based on the sex or gender of the child.” NRLC said the White House statement was therefore false to claim that the bill would “subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations” for an abortion.