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San Francisco Resolution Opposes Sex-Selective Abortion Bans Over Potential for Racial Profiling

San Francisco Resolution Opposes Sex-Selective Abortion Bans Over Potential for Racial Profiling

September 12, 2014 — San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu (D) on Tuesday introduced a resolution that opposes sex-selective abortion bans, which he said are based on racial stereotypes and promote stigmatization of Asian-American women, the Huffington Post reports.

If passed, the resolution would make San Francisco the first U.S. city to formally oppose such bans. The Board of Supervisors will vote on the measure Sept. 16 (O'Connor, Huffington Post, 9/10).

Background

Eight U.S. states have statutes making it illegal to seek an abortion based on the sex of the fetus, according to the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose Mercury News, 9/10).

In California this year, state Assembly member Shannon Grove (R) introduced a bill (AB 2336) that would have banned the practice and imposed a fine of up to $10,000 on physicians who completed such procedures. The bill failed in committee.

Reason for Opposition to Bans

Chiu said the bans stem from stereotypes that Asian-Americans and other minorities are likely to seek an abortion when a fetus is female because of a preference for sons (Huffington Post, 9/10).

He added that the bans can "lead to the denial of reproductive health care services to women by some medical providers and lead to the further stigmatization of women, particularly Asian American women" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/10).

Sophia Yen of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum supports Chiu's resolution, noting that "sex-selective abortion bans will result in racial discrimination and racial profiling when it comes to provision of reproductive health care services, and that they hurt the doctor/patient relationship" (Huffington Post, 9/10).