House rejects sex-selection abortion ban

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans have voted against legislation to make it a federal crime to carry out gender-based abortions.

In a campaign year when Democrats are accusing Republicans of waging a war against women, Republicans sought to portray the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act as a women's rights issue.

But the legislation required a two-thirds majority for passage, because of procedural rules, and had no future in the Democratic Senate.

The bill would have would make it a federal offense to perform or coerce a woman into a sex-selection abortion.

Opponents said it would subject doctors to criminal charges and discriminate against Asian-American women. Abortions of female fetuses are an issue in some Asian countries where families prefer sons.