Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill outlawing abortions that are influenced by the baby's sex or ethnicity. The immediate reaction of pro-choice activists is that such a law can and will be used unfairly by people other than the mother to dictate whether or not she keeps her baby.
The law makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus. According to the Arziona Republic, supporters claim that abortion clinics are located disporportionately in minority areas, and that "some populations" are choosing abortions because of gender, citing reports from India and China.
The law allows the father of an aborted fetus--or, if the mother is a minor, the mother's parents--to take legal action against the doctor or other health-care provider who performed the abortion. If convicted of the felony, physicians would face up to seven years in jail and the loss of their medical license.
But Planned Parenthood has blasted the law, Reuters reports, as an invasion of privacy and a tool for anti-abortion activists to hinder women's rights to choose.
"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, the group's chief executive.
While the law doesn't explicitly require doctors to ask their patients' reasons for wanting an abortion, nor for the patients to disclose that information, but Reuters says opponents worry it will make them "feel more inclined to do so."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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