ACLU Takes On Arizona’s Ban on Sex- and Race-Selective Abortions

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8566600@N07/6703009935/">eyeliam</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


The American Civil Liberties Union announced on Wednesday that it is filing suit against Arizona’s law that aims to ban abortions based on gender preference or race. The law, passed in March 2011, “treats every black and Asian women as potential threat simply because of her race alone,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, at a press event announcing the lawsuit.

The ACLU’s suit is on behalf of the NAACP and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, who argue that the law is an unconstitutional intrusion into a woman’s right to choose and that it asks doctors to profile based on the race of the woman seeking an abortion. Daniel Pochoda, legal director of the ACLU of Arizona said the law is “motivated by racist and discriminatory beliefs.” It would encourage discrimination against Asian American women based on cultural assumptions that they might seek to abort a female fetus. Doctors would also be required to racially profile any woman of color seeking an abortion, since she would most definitely be carrying a fetus of color. This pretty much amounts to a thought-crime, forcing medical professionals to somehow determine a woman’s motivation for getting an abortion or potentially end up in jail for 3 and a half years.

The law “perpetuates ugly stereotypes about the Asian American community and contributes to anti-immigrant perceptions,” said Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. And if politicians are actually concerned about sex-selective abortions, Yeung says, this is not the way to deal with them. “We care about gender inequity and we care about women,” said Yeung. “The thing is, if these politicians really wanted to truly address the issue—and sex-selection is really a symptom of gender inequity—there are more effective ways of doing that. This bill is not that.”

At least nine other states and the House of Representatives have considered banning abortions based on sex or race.

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate