National Partnership for Women & Families

A Disgrace

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — February 16, 2012 —
"Today's actions by the House Judiciary Committee were a disgrace and a betrayal.

The legislation to criminalize abortion on the basis of sex and race is a sham; it is nothing more than an attempt to make it more difficult for women of color to seek abortion care and imprison doctors who provide that care.

Appropriating the language of the civil rights movement and the names of its leaders does not give you its moral authority. The move to outlaw sex- and race-selective abortion in the United States is gratuitous and unnecessary, which is why many of the leading and most respected civil rights organizations have lined up against this bill.

We applaud Rep. Nadler (D-NY) for offering an amendment to address discrimination against pregnant and nursing mothers in the workplace, which is an urgent priority for America's women.

Yet we are stunned at the hypocrisy of the Committee, which rejected this amendment while voting to allow government to intrude into women’s most personal decisions about abortion. To add further insult to injury, the Committee’s majority also rejected Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-CA) amendment that would have advanced the enforcement of Title VII and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

At this time of economic hardship, when families are relying on women's wages more than ever, we need to strengthen anti-discrimination laws and give women additional tools to fight discrimination in the workplace.

The House Judiciary Committee's majority let women down today."

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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