“Arizona Governor Jan Brewer just signed a bill that makes it a felony to “knowingly perform or provide financing for an abortion sought because of the race or sex of the fetus or a parent’s race.”
“The only people who are supporting these bills are people who want to ban abortion. When you think about the heart of the bill, the bill is not about protecting women’s health. Instead, you have anti-abortion people passing a condition on abortion,” says Elizabeth Nash, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy associate for the Guttmacher Institute that advocates for sexual and reproductive health.
“It is unusual. There’s not anything out there to say this does happen, so it’s weird that people would try to adopt a law for something that’s not happening,” she adds.
The abortion law would cause women to have to disclose a reason for their abortions by verifying that it is not for racial reasons or because of the sex of the fetus. This law also sets a precedent by penalizing doctors for supposedly aborting babies for these aforesaid reasons.
“This law creates a highly unusual requirement that women state publicly their reason for choosing to terminate a pregnancy — a private decision they already made with their physician, partner and family,” said Bryan Howard, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, in a statement. “While we condemn racism and sexism in all forms, legislation that overrides the doctor-patient relationship is not in the best interest of Arizonans.”
“The bill is not about protecting women’s health. You have anti-abortion people passing a condition on abortion,” Nash says.
“This seems to be trying to get people to think about race more than affect any sort of practice. This is an issue that doesn’t make sense from a political standpoint except that it could pull apart different coalitions,” she continues.”