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Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2017 (H.R. 147)

This law was last updated on Sep 17, 2019

This law is Anti–Choice




H.R. 147


Failed to Pass


Jan 3, 2017


Co-sponsors: 65
Primary Sponsors: 1
Total Sponsors: 66


Sex- or Race-Selective Bans

Full Bill Text

H.R. 147 would ban sex-selective and race-selective abortions.

The bill would impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to:

  1. perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the fetus, or color or race of the parent;
  2. use force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selective abortion;
  3. solicit or accept funds for the performance of such an abortion; or
  4. transport a patient into the United States or across a state line for the purpose of obtaining such an abortion.

Violations or attempted violations would result in fines and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

The bill defines “sex-selection abortion” as an abortion undertaken for purposes of eliminating an ‘unborn child’ of an undesired sex.

The bill defines “race-selection abortion” as an abortion performed for purposes of eliminating an ‘unborn child’ because the child or a parent of the child is of an undesired race.

The bill excludes from the definition of “abortion” actions taken to terminate a pregnancy if the intent is to save the life or preserve the health of the fetus, remove a dead fetus caused by spontaneous abortion, or remove an ectopic pregnancy.

The bill would authorize civil actions and injunctive relief.

The bill also would require a medical or mental health professional to report known or suspected violations to law enforcement authorities and would impose criminal penalties for a failure to so report. A health-care provider would not have an affirmative duty to inquire as to the motivation for the abortion.

Sex-selection abortions are not a widespread problem in the United States. However, anti-choice activists cite three studies documenting the use of sex-selection abortion primarily among a small number of immigrant women. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum notes that a ban similar to the proposed Texas ban “targets and thus limits reproductive health access for Asian American & Pacific Islander women, who anti-choicers say are the ones guilty of this abortion practice. We know the real solution to ending the preference for sons in some families is getting to the root of the problem: gender inequity. If lawmakers truly want to help us, we call on them to promote equal pay, access to education, health equity, and ending violence against women.”

Related Legislation

Similar to H.R. 4660, which only prohibits sex-selective abortions.

In 2012, Sen. Vitter introduced a similar bill (S 3290), but it failed to make it out of committee. Sen. Vitter introduced the bill again in 2013 (S 138), and in 2015 (S 48), failing both times.

The previous versions of the bill only targeted sex-selective abortions.