Abortion Battle Heats Up in Congress - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Abortion Battle Heats Up in Congress

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Arizona Republican Trent Franks -- an outspoken pro-life advocate, is preparing to do battle again on Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday, he'll oversee a hearing in support of the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act.

"Well if you could put it in the simplest terms, it would simply say that you cannot discriminate against the unborn by subjecting them to an abortion based on their race or sex," said Franks.

He says the issue of sex-selection abortions is a growing problem in the U.S. and that Americans overwhelmingly oppose the concept.

In a Zogby International study, 86 percent of those polled said abortions done solely on the basis of gender selection should be illegal.

Franks also says that African-American pregnancies are the most likely to be terminated and points to the pro-choice leaning Guttmacher Institute to make his point.

In its latest report on the issue, Guttmacher states, "The abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women."

Although there is great dispute about what is driving that number, pro-choice advocates say the Franks bill will do nothing to resolve the issue.

"This is a trumped up bill for a trumped up problem," said Nancy Northup, President of The Center for Reproductive Rights .

Northup says Congress should be focused instead of righting the struggling U.S. economy.

"This bill is a cynical and offensive attempt to evoke race and sex discrimination when actually it's about taking women's rights away," she said.

Yet Franks says he's optimistic about bi-partisan support for his bill.

"I would hope that even my friends on the left would be able to say no, this can't be who we are," he said.

Franks acknowledges his bill -- though it has roughly 60 co-sponsors, it will not be easy to pass, but says even if it fails, he hopes it will spark important conversations on the issue of life.

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