What are sex-selective and race-selective abortion bans?
Sex- and race-selective abortion bans make it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion when they suspect their patient is seeking an abortion due to a preference for the sex and/or race of the fetus. They also require nurses or doctors to report a patient to law enforcement, even in cases where they are only suspicious about the motives. If a doctor or nurse violates the law, they can face jail time, fines, and even lawsuits from a patient’s family.
Why are sex-selective abortion bans harmful to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
While the bill is cloaked in the language of civil rights for women, this bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Rather than lifting the status of women, this bill is nothing more than another hypocritical attempt to ban abortions in this country – this time using AAPI women as the excuse.
Sex- and race-selective abortion bans are fueled by racist stereotypes.
Supporters of sex-selective abortion bans claim they are necessary because of Asians who migrate to the U.S. and bring “backward” values with them. This stereotype about the values of the AAPI community is not only ugly—it’s dangerous. These bans could lead to AAPI patients being singled out for special questioning and even being denied care.
At the Federal Level:
Over the years, we’ve unfortunately seen sex- and race-selective abortion bans federally, often deceivingly referred to as the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA). H.R. 147 Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2017, also known as “PRENDA,” would prohibit abortions sought based on the race or sex of the fetus or the race of the parent. The bill requires reporting of any suspected sex- and/or race-based motivations for seeking an abortion.
H.R. 147 targets Asian American women based on false stereotyping regarding sex-preference and makes any Asian American person seeking an abortion a suspect. It aims to undermine Asian American women’s access to safe, unbiased reproductive care.
H.R. 147 would also prohibit suspected “race-based” abortions, rendering any woman of color seeking an abortion a suspect and subject to denied care and even criminalization.
The bill further perpetuates false myths about Asian American women and communities of color and further shames and stigmatizes our communities from seeking abortion and reproductive health services.
Currently, no sex or race selective abortion ban has been introduced in the 116th Congress.