From AP via Yahoo! News:
The House on Thursday fell short in an effort to ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus as Republicans and Democrats made an election-year appeal for women's votes.
The legislation would have made it a federal offense, subject to up to five years in prison, to perform, solicit funds for or coerce a woman into having a sex-selection abortion. Bringing a woman into the country to obtain such an abortion would also be punishable by up to five years in prison. While doctors would not have an affirmative responsibility to ask a woman her motivations for an abortion, health workers could be imprisoned for up to a year for not reporting known or suspected violations of the ban on sex-based abortions.
An earlier version of the bill also made it illegal to abort a fetus based on race.
"We are the only advanced country left in the world that still doesn't restrict sex-selection abortion in any way," said Franks, who has also collided with abortion-rights groups recently over a bill he supports to ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Franks and others say there is evidence of sex-selection abortions in the United States among certain ethnic groups from countries where there is a traditional preference for sons. The bill notes that while the United States has no federal law against such abortions, countries such as India and China, where the practice has contributed to lopsided boy-girl ratios, have enacted bans on the practice.
Lawmakers "who recently have embraced contrived political rhetoric asserting that they are resisting a 'war on women' must reflect on whether they now wish to be recorded as being defenders of the escalating war on baby girls," said National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson.