Arizona makes abortion illegal if it's based on race or sex

Katherine - posted on 03/30/2011 ( 44 moms have responded )

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Cafemom

Arizona has officially become the first state in the nation to make thinking illegal. At least when it comes to abortion. Governor Jan Brewer has signed a new law that will make abortion illegal if it's being done based on the sex or race of a fetus.

Whoo boy. Where to begin with this one Arizona? Let's face it. Pro-choice or anti-choice, we can agree that the concept of sex-based or race-based abortions is bad. The first swings awfully close to China with its one-child policy and its preference for baby boys. The latter is a disturbing form of racism: what kind of woman is comfortable having sex with a man of another race but won't go so far as carrying his child because of said race?

But there's something in America called freedom of speech. And with it comes freedom of thought. With this law, Arizona is ignoring both.

Speech and thought aren't always pretty. They're not always agreeable. It's disturbing to think your next door neighbor may be a racist or misogynist. But our Constitution holds that he can be, and there's nothing you can do about it. Because once he gives up the freedom, you would have to give up yours to disagree with him.

We must protect the disagreeable to protect the agreeable. And so it is in the case of abortion.

Our Constitution has also been determined by the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade to protect a woman's right to choose what happens to her own body. She has the right to an abortion -- for whatever reason she determines necessary. It can be an awful trauma like rape. A terrible predicament like a broken condom and the utter inability to afford a baby right now. Or it can be because she is a racist moron who slept with a black man and can't bear to think of presenting her mixed race baby to her parents.

As they say, her body, her choice. That's the whole argument behind legal abortion, but Arizona wants to have it both ways. They'll pretend it's her choice. But it's really the government's. By moving in on two of those choices, Arizona isn't rooting out misogyny and racism. It's sneaking into a woman's mind and telling her that she can't think her own thoughts. It's putting into question a woman's motives for her own body. It's a dangerous precipice.

Because what comes next? It wasn't really rape because somewhere in the back of her mind her pleasure centers erupted and she actually felt something good? Or she doesn't deserve an abortion because at one time she thought she'd have a baby by 28, and here she is, 29 and trying to get rid of a fetus?

As long as a woman can legally get an abortion, the government has no business marching into her brain and asking her why. It's a legal abortion. Period.

What do you think of this law?

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Sara - posted on 03/31/2011

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Here's my question (and sorry if it seems harsh): if a woman is willing to have an abortion based on sex or race of a baby in the first place, don't you think it might be better to just let her get an abortion? I mean, we're not talking mother of the year material here if she's willing to terminate a pregnancy based on those grounds. Just a thought...

Tara - posted on 04/02/2011

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More on Canada's abortion laws and reasons for late term abortions.

In Canada less than .4% of abortions occur after 20 weeks, the reason they occur at all is because there are many things that cannot be detected prior to about 24 weeks, these late term abortions are due to severe malformation or imminent death of a fetus or the mother or sometimes both. These are not cases of women choosing to not have a baby after deciding for 5 months they wanted one.

The right to abort a baby that has severe malformations or severe illnesses should be maintained. This is a medical procedure that can save the life of the mother and also prevent the birth of a child that has no chance of life with no spinal cord, no skull, a heart that is outside of it's body, a baby with two fused skulls or a baby with no real head etc.

I think this law sucks big time. And it smacks of a right wing agenda. Church and State should remain separate always.



edited to add the link I forgot.

http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/postionpapers/22...

Amanda - posted on 04/01/2011

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I am pro life all the way this is crazy, apolling, disgusting, sick and Murder!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry - posted on 03/31/2011

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How would they even uphold it? I mean they ask, why do you want this abortion? Mom knows the law so even if it's cuz she didnt want a boy she would just say, oh I can't afford a baby right now.
People lie! So what, a lie detected test before every abortion?
I agre these are awful reasons to abort, but who can prove it if the woman doesn't say so!
I think it's a pointless law and only those stupid enough to admit it will be turned away. And they likely will just go to another clinic and lie.
This won't 'save any babies' it will just make women better liars.

Johnny - posted on 03/30/2011

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Arizona seems to have decided to specialize in making absurd and unenforceable laws that make most people just shake their heads in amazement.

44 Comments

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Deidre - posted on 04/03/2011

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Sometimes what you think is the best decision at the time might not work out to be in the end. I have complete respect for anyone's opinion without judgment, but I think we have to look at the big picture here. Making someone have a baby they don't want doesn't make them want the baby when they are brought into this world. I am not saying that it is right to abort because of the sex, the decision and planning should be way before the conception happens. And what is this talk about aborting because of "race"....how the hell does that happen?

Merry - posted on 04/03/2011

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Tine, I too wondered about my right to my body, but I feel the uterus is like a hotel, another person lives in there, we are here to look after it. I don't think of a fetus as my body just because it's in my body! I see it like a child who has already been born, it's my responsibility to care for it, but not my right to end it's life or harm it in any way.

Tine - posted on 04/03/2011

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I completely agree with freedom of speech, and the need to protect it. However, I can't really see that that's the issue here. We aren't talking about somebody's right to express an opinion, we're talking about somebody's right to end a fetus's life. I totally want rights over my own body, but I'm no longer so sure that this extends to the right to make a choice over the life of a perfectly healthy child that I am carrying.

I used to be a right to choice person, all the time, regardless. Since having my first child, I have changed my veiws somewhat, and I'm not so sure that we have the automatic right to end the potential life off another, inside our bodies or not. Clearly there are some really convincing reasons for abortion, but there are lots of spurious ones, too, considered in the light of the gravity of the decision. And sex and race of the child are surely pretty darn spurious, and I say, disturbing. Surely as a society we do have to draw the line somewhere, if individuals won't?

I think we're looking at the problem upside - down. Sex is seen as a kind of light recreation, but it is, ultimately, an act which has the potential, every single time, to create a new person. Wow. Big responsibility. As a society (and I'm in Australia, but I think that basically the same attitudes prevail here), I think that we need to seriously examine where we are at. What do we value? Some folk seem not to value anything much in particular, and this bothers me deeply. I think that this question is at the heart of this issue...

Casey - posted on 04/02/2011

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Ok so I have only read the first couple of posts regarding this questions and it seems that I am going to be going against the grain here lol, I recently read about a couple (not sure where they were from) but they recently found out they were expecting twin boys (IVF babies) at a 20 week ultrasound and because they already had 3 sons and desperately wanted a girl they aborted the baby boys, now I dunno about the rest of you but I think that is just plain old wrong and I know it sounds like a stupid law to some people but if it could have saved the lives of those two little boys who just happened to be the wrong sex then I think it's worth it.

Johnny - posted on 04/02/2011

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Yep, I did misunderstand your post. And I totally agree with your reasoning on it.

I will say though, I have found that there is little reasoning with people who assume that life is better than not life in every case.

Deidre - posted on 04/02/2011

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@ Johnny I think you misunderstood the reason why I made that comment if your comment was directed towards me. It about the Government having control over a situation like this. What do you think will happen?I think, if this does go through, there will be a rise is babies being left behind in foster care, orphanages or God forbid, on the street. I am very much pro-choice. I know how much that is going to outrage a few people but I would appreciate it if everyone would think of my reasons for why before they judge.

Merry - posted on 04/02/2011

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Oooh, awesome point Laura! It is giving the fetus human rights! Very interesting, I personally believe it's a human from conception, but I know legally it's not considered a human unless the mom wants it to be a human. Like a mom can abort a fetus because it isn't human thus has no rights. But if a mom the same weeks along gestation is stabbed in the belly and her baby dies, she can press charges on the stabber for murder!
The fetus only is a human with rights if it's mom gives it those rights. Sort of weird, but I guess since the mom is the only one we can hear she is the only one we try to keep happy healthy and alive.

Isobel - posted on 04/02/2011

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I haven't read everything but I'll throw my two cents in. I'm pretty sure it's just the first step in trying to give a fetus human rights...it can't be discriminated against based on it's race or gender...then it must be a human being right? And we all know it's illegal to kill a human being...cause that's murder.

They're sneaky little bastards.

Katherine - posted on 04/01/2011

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I'm pro-life too, they are saying you CAN"T abort if you don't like the gender or race. But the thing is, how will they know? HOW????

User - posted on 04/01/2011

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Let me first say wow Katherine, you are a very smart logical woman. Your points and accusations are right on, Second you don't find out the sex till around 20 weeks and isn't that to late to get an abortion? These are discusting reasons for having an abortion, but as you said so profoundly " the government has no business marching into her brain and asking her why"

Krista - posted on 04/01/2011

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I read this on a blog post this morning and liked it:

"According to the Teabilly Doctrine, the government should be teeny-tiny when it comes to regulating big business. But when it comes to lady business, the government is so fucking big that I wouldn’t be surprised if the military starts forcing women to quarter soldiers in their vaginas."

Lacye - posted on 03/31/2011

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I haven't read any of the other posts so if this question has been answered then just let me know.

How the hell are they going to know what the reason behind the abortion is? Do they just come out and ask? Have they seriously had people tell them before, "I don't want this baby because it's black or white or asian. I don't want it because it's a boy and by God I want a girl? This is just fucking stupid people. You have got to be kidding me. I'm pro life so I already can't see a reason why a person would want to give up their child to begin with but to do it because of something that is completely out of the child's hands and is actually the parent's fault! That's insane.

Sara - posted on 03/31/2011

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Well,I just know the PP here doesn't do them after 12 weeks, I've never investigated any further than that to be honest.

Rosie - posted on 03/31/2011

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and sara, you can still get an abortion in indiana after 12 weeks. you just have to go to a hospital or a surgical center for it. because that costs more many people either dont' get one, or drive to ohio to get one.

Merry - posted on 03/31/2011

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We found out the sex at 18 weeks, and I believe a few tests can tell the sex much earlier. I think some genetic testings can also tell the sex which is in the 1st trimester

Jocelyn - posted on 03/31/2011

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While the prospect of enforcing a ridiculous law like this one boggle the mind, punishing a woman who is somehow found to be in violation of same is truly scary. What would the charge be? Having a Bad Bad Thought? What would her punishment be? 10 hours of community service babysitting children of the race or gender she'd singled out? Absurd.

Katherine - posted on 03/31/2011

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I agree Sara, this law is flawed on so many levels. Like so many people said: How the heck are you going to know WHAT they based an abortion on? Do they fill out a questionnaire before they find out the gender? I mean seriously, HOW can they tell?

Caitlin - posted on 03/31/2011

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I just checked because I was curious, and found this:

"Abortion in Canada is not limited by the law (on-demand, no time limit). While some non-legal obstacles exist, Canada is one of only a few nations with no legal restrictions on abortion." (wikipedia) Though in 2006, a bill was introduced saying that abortions done after 20 weeks are to be seen as a criminal act, that bill never passed officially, and therefore it is not illegal to do late term abortions here, but I assume that it would really be the hospital/clinic discretion on whom it was performed...

Sara - posted on 03/31/2011

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Ah...I guess I'm thinking of terms of where I live. You can only get an abortion if your less than 12 weeks pregnant here.

Caitlin - posted on 03/31/2011

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I believe that you can have an abortion up to 20 weeks here (though i've never really inquired) and the waiting period must be short for them, so if you schedule the ultrasound at 18 weeks, you have 2 weeks leeway..

Sara - posted on 03/31/2011

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But my OB told me that you can't determine the sex by ultrasound until at least 16 weeks, that it's not developed enough to be able to tell. That's what I'm wondering about...

Caitlin - posted on 03/31/2011

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There are some places around here i've heard of that will not tell you the gender of thebaby at the ultrasound, because of a high number of abortions done after the ultrasounds. That doens't really stop you from paying for a private ultrasound to find out, but in general, the public ones in certain areas will not tell you the gender (my friend in BC couldn't find out)

Sara - posted on 03/31/2011

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I think it's bullshit. It's clearly meant to put practioners in a bad spot. I mean, there's NO evidence that this is even a problem, that people are getting abortions for this reason, so what this really means is that doctors will now be asking "Why", which I personally think is a violation of someone's privacy. Jan Brewer is evil. And since the GOP can't do the other things they promised, like create jobs and improve the economy, they do shit like this to mobilize their base. Disgusting.



And one more thing: how would someone know in the first trimester what the sex of the baby is? it's not possible to find out from ultrasound.

Krista - posted on 03/31/2011

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I'm with Johnny on this one. Jan Brewer seems to love this grand gestures of lawmaking, that do nothing but throw a lot of red meat to her base. She's playing them like a damn violin.

Tracey - posted on 03/31/2011

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Being from UK and not fully understanding the American health system, do you have to receive health care in your state or can you go to another state to get treatment?

Katherine - posted on 03/30/2011

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I think that's the bloggers point, how WILL they prove it? Some Jedi mind blowing game?

April - posted on 03/30/2011

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LOL i've never heard of anyone getting an abortion based on race or gender and even if that was the case, how on earth can they prove it? Weird.

[deleted account]

It's crap, and like the other ladies said, how the hell are they going to enforce it? Complete and utter waste of time IMO...

Lady Heather - posted on 03/30/2011

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How do they know that's why the abortion is happening? I very much doubt that anyone is going to openly say that they are only aborting for a race or sex purposes. As much as I think those are crap reasons for aborting, this law isn't going to prevent it from happening. The sex one can only be prevented if parents are not allowed to find out the sex of the baby. That can be challenging for someone who is really good at figuring out an ultrasound. I always saw my girl loud and clear. So they'd have to prevent me from viewing the ultrasound. The race thing...no way to fix that.

Carolyn - posted on 03/30/2011

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absurd to put it plainly.



More over, how on earth would you enforce something like this ? I mean really, if a woman wants an abortion because of race or sex, how hard is it to lie and give one of a hundred other reasons ? I mean unless there is some kind of mind reading brain scan/ technology out there that can pop into a woman's brain and determine her intentions that i havent heard about, Arizona is shit out of luck.



waste of time and energy that could better spent elsewhere.

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