Arizona Bans Abortion Based on Race or Sex of Fetus

Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed a new bill into law today, one which makes it a crime to perform an abortion based on the fetus’ race or sex.  The bill targets abortion providers by making it possible for the father of the aborted fetus, or the maternal grandparents if the mother is a minor, to press charges against abortion providers if it could be proved that this was the reason for the procedure.  The measure supposedly protected against “capricious” abortions because parents or the mother wanted a baby of a different race or gender, but in reality, as I wrote when the bill was passed by the Arizona House last month, it provides just one more barrier for women who want to obtain an abortion for other reasons.

“It’s to stigmatize women choosing abortion and to create more fear and uncertainty for the medical professionals providing the care,” Bryan Howard, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, explained bluntly.

As Robin Marty, writing for RHRealityCheck, points out, the fear that fetuses are being aborted because of race or gender seems to be unfounded.  Because gender can’t be detected until 14 weeks into the pregnancy, abortions would have to be performed after that time for gender to factor into parents’ or a woman’s decision.  But the vast majority of abortions (96%, to be exact) in the state of Arizona were performed before 14 weeks, making it impossible for the women or providers to have known the fetus’ gender.  And race seems like an absurd criteria – how exactly do women or providers detect the race of a fetus, except for the rather obvious facts of the parents’ ethnicity?

What this bill will do is make abortion providers more wary about performing abortions, which is bad for women.  It will require doctors to ask women invasive, personal questions about why they’re obtaining abortions; doctors will also have to be more suspicious of their patients, and women of color will likely be the candidates for that new suspicion.  This isn’t a victory for race or gender equality, it’s just another attempt to make abortions harder to access.


Photo from Flickr.


LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Barbara Cindric
Barbara Cindric5 years ago


Susanne Westh Larsen

Dear Annmari Lundin.
You seem to think that pro-lifers that stand up for the rights of unborn babies do not stand up for the children who have been born. You are not right. Prolifers respect children at any age. Life is precious before birth as it is after birth. Pro-lifers respect life from conception to natural death.
And there is enough loving and caring grown up human beings with right hearts to welcome and take care of all the children that God sends us.
The namegiving and deeming pro-lifers lifehaters is illogical. We respect and love life and we respect God´s laws and the love He has for every child He has created.
And there is no smokescreening in banning gender- and raceabortion, as well as all forms of abortion as they are all manifestations of evil that works through misled, manipulated and poor human beings.

This measure about banning abortions for gender or race reasons are just another smoke screen carried out by the life hating Repukes and Teabags!

Susanne Westh Larsen

Dear Annmari Lundin.
You don´t have to be a fanatic to have the unborn babies´ rights in mind, you just have to love children and your Creator.
And a fetus is just another name for an unborn child.
I don´t know whether you can insure an unborn child or not, but the fact is that an unborn baby can be appointed heir of fortunes and people can be brought to justice if they hurt an unborn baby in its mother´s womb, even abortonists can be convicted if they do not adhere to the laws of the country. And they certainly are convicted by God for every little one that they kill even if they are not convicted according to human law.
As far as I know, you do not enroll a baby born or unborn in school. You enroll children in school when they come of age and are mature for entering school.
There is noone forcing a woman to carry a child except for the woman herself who enters into a sexual relationship with a man for sexual lust only.
I can tell you that the grief of carrying an unwanted child and handing it over to adoption is nothing compared to the grief that hits you when you wake up to the fact that you have aborted an innocent,defenseless human. And that is because of the cruelty of having caused the monstrous and cowardly killing of an innocent defenseless human being instead of having given it a chance to live.
Perhaps you should contemplate more deeply whether sexuality for its own sake is not a crime. It certainly is in the eyes of God.
You s

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

So sick of religious fanatics claiming to only have the unborn's rights in mind. It's a fetus, not a child. Can you insure a fetus? No! Can you enroll a fetus in school? No! And all you pro-lifers, why can't you get it into your brains that forcing a woman to carry a fetus for 40 weeks (to hand it over for adoption) is cruel and unusual punishment for something that isn't a crime to begin with!
Take care of all the already un-wanted children everywhere, before putting up barriers to prevent even more miserable children. Not to mention, unwilling, unable, and maybe even unfit, parents.
This measure about banning abortions for gender or race reasons are just another smoke screen carried out by the life hating Repukes and Teabags!

Avery Ecklein
Avery Ecklein5 years ago

Some chinese would like to abort their unborn babies after ultrasound sex test found out to be girl.

Lika S.
Lika S5 years ago

Someone is grossly twisting something here. If anyone is having an abortion because it's a boy, and you want a girl, you're SICK! Same if it's a girl, and you wanted a boy. Are you communist or something? Jeez!!!! If you're Asian, and you don't want a white baby, don't have sex with a white person. Problem solved, no abortion because of race issues. Common freaking sense, people.

I also don't see how this would prevent abortions for being banned, nor do I see it as other parties being able to stick their nose into the business. If a minor is pregnant and can't deal with it, she can't deal with it, regardless of other issues. If she can't deal with it, let her have the abortion, which ought to remain legal without the government stepping in.

If the government is going to step in, I DEMAND equal rights and force the guy who got the girl pregnant to go through a vasectomy. If he is a rapist, he should go to prison. Plain and simple.

Susanne Westh Larsen

It´s very positive to spend money to support life, but to spend money to kill innocent unborn human life is what makes things worse.

Sarah B.
Sarah B5 years ago

According to the U.S. Dept of Health & Human services in 2009 (the most recent statistics from 2010 date) 700,000 children total were in the foster care system that year, 424,000 are in foster homes, 57,000 were adopted, 20,000 children "aged out" upon becoming 18, and 115,000 children are approved but waiting for someone to adopt them.

The statistics for children in international orphanages are hard to verify but horrifying from all accounts.

There are plenty of already born and unwanted children who are suffering daily, and one must consider the poor quality of life being forced upon these children in addition to the calls for preserving the essence of life in general.

Not to mention, if the attack from the right upon abortion providers like Planned Parenthood is "fiscal" in nature, why aren't the figures for the federally funded foster & child welfare programs being equally considered within this plan?
BILLIONS of dollars are spent annually by the federal govt running child welfare programs and reimbursing states & foster parents for their own services. To eliminate access to abortions will only further exasperate the already stretched depts & funds needed to properly care for the unwanted/uncared for children.

sad but logistical truths. No matter how many people ideologically support pro-life initiatives, unless those people are also able to personally fund & care for all of the unaccounted for children it will only make matters worse.