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Would-be aborted black fetuses have found a new friend in Rep. Trent Franks (of Arizona, sigh) and the collected shiny-faced grinners of the House Republican caucus. A clever woods-goblin has planted into these congressmen’s heads the notion that “abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community,” and not the official NIH-sanctioned answer of “terminal flank pain, secondary to laughing at congressional imbeciles.” Now the caucus is circulating a memo in support of the subtly titled Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (GET IT?!) Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which was aborted failed to reach mark-up when it was last put forward but which will probably reach viability make it to a floor vote this time around.

Mother Jones gives the background on this manic episode:

Bills outlawing sex-selection abortions—a procedure most Americans oppose—have passed on the state level. But a bill outlawing abortions based on race ran into trouble in Georgia in 2010. […]

Like the Georgia bill, backers of Franks’ bill, including Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the powerful chairman of the judiciary committee, have pointing [sic] to a supposed epidemic of abortions based on the race of the fetus—an argument that dominates the memo ….

The Franks bill would ban abortions based on race or gender, and even let a woman’s family sue her doctors if they think her abortion might have anything to do with race or gender. True, less than 5% of abortions actually take place after it would be possible to determine a baby’s sex. But in the Republicans’ defense, it has been getting easier for black ladies to guess earlier and earlier, and with surprising accuracy, the probable race of their fetuses (black, shh), using just a few simple bits of old folk wisdom. Perhaps medical science just finally forced the GOP’s benevolent hand? [Mother Jones]

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