AAPI Women: Missouri’s Abortion Ban Uses Racism, Sexism to Racially Profile Our People

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2019
Contact: Jennifer Wang
(202) 812-9325 / jwang@napawf.org

Early this morning, the Missouri Senate passed HB 126, a ban on abortion after 8 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of rape and incest, and includes further bans on abortion on the basis of race, sex, or a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, along with a requirement for both parents or guardians to be notified if a minor is seeking an abortion. In response, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement:

“On the heels of Georgia and Alabama, Missouri politicians have chosen yet again to attack our agency to make decisions about our lives by introducing legislation that would ban abortion after 8 weeks and so-called “sex-selective abortions.” Sex-selective abortion bans target Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women in particular by promoting dangerous, false racial stereotypes: proponents of the bill misleadingly claim, using overt racism, that these bans on abortions are necessary to prevent AAPI pregnant people from propagating “backwards” cultural preferences for male babies. A study completed in 2014 found that Asian Americans in the United States are actually giving birth to more girls on average than white Americans are.

“Make no mistake: these bans do not promote gender equity, and instead do the extreme opposite, limiting the ability of AAPIs to make crucial decisions with regard to our own health and well-being. Anti-abortion legislators cannot be allowed to hide behind the mantle of “saving” women of color to advance racist, sexist legislation that impedes the rights of all women.

“Abortion will remain legal in Missouri until this ban goes into effect, unless the courts do the right thing and act to stop this racist, sexist policy in its tracks. We refuse to allow our communities to be scapegoated so that politicians can continue to trample our agency and dignity, and AAPI women will continue to resist and powerfully oppose bans like these with even more intensity, persistence, and resolve.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.