Letter Opposing Kentucky's Sex Selective Abortion Ban

February 20, 2019

Representative Tim Moore
Chair, House Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection

Dear Representative Moore:

I strongly oppose HB 5, a bill motivated by racist and sexist stereotypes about Asian American women in an attempt to curtail our agency to make critical decisions about our bodies, our families and our lives. Among other types of abortion bans, HB 5 contains a sex-selective abortion ban, which is predicated on the false and deeply racist stereotype that Asian American women prefer male children. Under the guise of “protecting girl babies,” Representatives Melinda Prunty and Joseph Fischer have ignored a 2014 study debunking this myth. The lawmakers who have introduced this abortion ban are attempting to vilify Asian American women across the state and completely misrepresent a growing and powerful demographic. The proposed ban serves to undermine our own ability to make decisions regarding our health and imposes government intervention that infringes on our agency and freedom.

The fact that HB 5 was introduced at all is a sign that Kentucky lawmakers have chosen to ignore the law. Sex-selective abortion ban legislation is already unconstitutional according to our neighboring U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. HB 5 should not move any further than it has. To allow any abortion ban to become law destroys the very principles of agency and freedom that we all value. If the Kentucky legislature allows HB 5 to become law, it will be a clear attack on Asian Americans throughout the state and demonstrate a complete betrayal of our interests. I was born in Lexington and have lived in Louisville for over 30 years. I stand strongly in my belief that HB 5 signifies a Kentucky that doesn’t value, trust, or serve its Asian American population. This bill undermines our individual and community voice and attempts to diminish our agency. Passage of this bill would send a signal to the growing Asian American communities in the state that Kentucky lawmakers condone racial profiling and systemic discrimination.

Sincerely,

Sara Renn