Legislation coming up for a House vote would make it a federal crime to carry out an abortion based on the gender of the fetus. The measure takes aim at the aborting of female fetuses, a practice more common to countries such India and China where there is a strong preference for sons, but which is also thought to take place in this country.
The legislation would make it illegal to perform, solicit funds to perform or coerce a woman into a gender-selection abortion.
The mostly Republican supporters of the bill characterize the vote as a sex-discrimination issue at a time when Democrats are accusing Republicans of waging a war on women. Abortion rights advocates argue that the bill exploits a problem to further limit a woman's right to choose.