Schakowsky, Dold Help Defeat Pro-Life Bill
North Shore representatives vote against bill that would criminalize abortion based on gender.
A proposed federal law criminalizing abortions performed solely because of the gender of the fetus was defeated Thursday as Rep. Robert Dold, R-Kenilworth, joined six other Republicans in voting against the measure.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston, voted against the bill as well, joining 160 of her Democratic colleagues to defeat the proposed legislation on procedural grounds.
The final vote was 246-168 in favor of the bill, which required a two-thirds majority because its sponsors were trying to rush it through and needed a suspension of the rules to do so, according to Dold communications director Stefani Zimmerman.
Schakowsky was incensed that the Republican majority would try to suspend its rules for a vote on this bill because they claimed it fights gender discrimination.
“If you ask American women where gender discrimination affects them most, they will say in their paychecks,” Schakowsky said. “Today Republicans brought to the floor a bill that addresses a nonexistent problem in the United States.”
Addressing the issue of gender discrimination, Dold split with his party because he does not want to insert the United States government into the relationship between a doctor and patient.
“Abortions based on gender-selection are reprehensible, but federal legislative intervention and criminalization is not the proper approach,” Dold said. “These are serious issues, particularly in some foreign countries, but today’s legislation would obligate American doctors to police and report thought crimes.”
Deerfield management consultant Brad Schneider, Dold’s opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, had no disagreement with Dold or Schakowsky. He was angry with the right wing influence within the Republican Party.
“The fact that this bill even came up for a vote shows that Tea Party Republicans are more concerned about pushing an ideological agenda than getting our economy moving,” Schneider said.
Schakowsky explained that if the bill became law, just the suggestion of a gender issue in an abortion could force an unwanted pregnancy on a woman.
“A woman’s husband or parents by merely alleging that an abortion is because of gender (could) seek injunctive relief to prevent the doctor from performing abortion procedures, sending an incredibly private, personal decision into the courts,” Schakowsky said.