Smoke and Mirrors: Is Race-Baiting Being Used to Ban Abortion?

Smoke and Mirrors: Is Race-Baiting Being Used to Ban Abortion?

Critics of a new Arizona law banning abortion on the premise of race or gender say the true purpose of the bill is to polarize the public on an already sensitive subject.

Published April 1, 2011

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into a law a bill earlier this week that bans abortion on the premise of race or gender. House Bill 2443 makes performing or paying for a race- or gender-based abortion a Class 3 felony that would allow the state to take legal action against the doctor, according to The Associated Press. While other states have laws preventing gender-based abortions, Arizona is the first state to ban against an abortion based on race.

While this new law seems like a good thing, staving off racism and sexism at the earliest level, it’s more than a little odd that a law like this is necessary when there is little evidence that abortions of this kind take place in America. After all, this isn’t China where parents must adhere to the strict "one child per family" rule. So what is the true function of this new law and what are the potential ramifications?

Critics of the new law say the true purpose of the bill is to polarize the public on an already sensitive subject. The African-American community is still reeling from Life Always’ anti-abortion billboard campaigns in Chicago and New York City. While it seems unlikely, pro-life groups similar to Life Always could reasonably make the argument that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are systemically aborting Black babies, potentially incurring legal action against health centers that provide a myriad of health services to low-income women and children.

This year has seen conservative Republicans besieging statehouses with clever legislation filled with new ways to slow or outright ban abortion nationwide. South Dakota now has the longest abortion waiting period – 72 hours -- thanks to a recently passed law. With Arizona’s new law, women might be required to publicly state their reasons for abortion, which can be construed as an invasion of privacy and a violation of patient-doctor rights.

Couching a law in something good like fighting discrimination is a back-door tactic to banning abortion and an attack on poor minority women who can not necessarily afford to take care of a child. Going forward, Blacks need to pay close attention to laws like these that supposedly have our best interests in mind. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”

What do you think of Arizona’s new abortion law? Is it necessary or a tactic for an agenda? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

 

(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Written by Sherri L. Smith

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