Reuters reports that Arizona has become the first state in the nation to outlaw abortions performed on the basis of the race or gender of the fetus.
This represents one of the biggest gains yet for the anti-abortion groups who have sought to further restrict abortions in the wake of conservative political gains made during the November elections.
Specifically, the new law provides that doctors would face felony charges if they are shown to have performed abortions for the purposes of helping parents select their offspring on the basis of gender or race. It doesn't provide for a penalty for women undergoing such abortions.
To tie up pro-life legislation with an issue everyone can get behind (it would be hard to find someone who's in favor or abortions based on race or gender) is an effective approach, but does it actually make any sense to link the two issues?
Supporters of the measure said that the ban is needed to put an end to sex- and race-related discrimination that exists in Arizona and throughout the nation. But opponents counter that while selective abortions may be happening in other countries like China, there's not actually any evidence that they're an issue here.
Not to mention, bill proponents say they were motivated by concern about what they say are proportionally high rates of abortion for certain racial groups, especially African Americans. So … we're supposed to believe that this law will stop black women who seek abortions because their babies are (surprise!) black? The law may have passed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's desk, but it's not passing the straight-face test.
It's one thing to be passionately pro-life. It's another thing entirely to conceal your agenda behind manufactured concerns about race and equality (which, between this law and the recent “The most dangerous place for African Americans is in the womb" and "Every 21 minutes our next leader is aborted" Obama billboards, appears to be the trendy thing to do for the anti-abortion crew).
Of all the states in the country, Arizona has enough real problems with discrimination without making up new ones. Call us crazy, but we have a funny feeling that the lawmakers behind this will struggle to recall their sudden passion for combating race and gender bias when it comes to issues in the world outside the womb.
Read more at Yahoo News.
In other news: Five-Year-Old Stars in Award-Winning SXSW Film.