We can all agree that anti-choice legislation is inherently sexist, but the racism used to justify South Dakota's sex selective abortion ban, which just passed the House, is something else.
According to Mother Jones:
On Wednesday, by a vote of 60 to 10, the South Dakota House passed a bill that would ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus, or "sex-selective" abortions. Speaking in favor of the bill, Stace Nelson, a Republican state representative running for the US Senate, hearkened back to his time living in Asia as a Marine. "Many of you know I spent 18 years in Asia," Nelson said. "And sadly, I can tell you that the rest of the world does not value the lives of women as much as I value the lives of my daughters."
More blah blah blah from another racist idiot:
"Let me tell you, our population in South Dakota is a lot more diverse than it ever was," Haggar said. "There are cultures that look at a sex-selection abortion as being culturally okay. And I will suggest to you that we are embracing individuals from some of those cultures in this country, or in this state. And I think that's a good thing that we invite them to come, but I think it's also important that we send a message that this is a state that values life, regardless of its sex."
As if that weren't enough. These representatives are following Spencer Cody, vice president of South Dakota Right to Life, who testified in favor of the law using misleading statistics. Below, a description of his presentation:
Another slide read, "Ethnic backgrounds that are known to practice sex selection account for up to 3.9% of all abortions in South Dakota." It referred to South Dakota Department of Health statistics showing that 3.9 percent of abortion patients in 2011 reported their race as "other," that is, not white, black, or Native American. "It's possible that this could be affecting as many as 24 abortions a year," Cody concluded—assuming every woman who reported her race as "other" was Asian, and every one of them was seeking an abortion only because of the fetus's sex.
So there's actually no problem with Asians in South Dakota deciding to kill their unborn children because they're not boys. That state's lawmakers, like their counterparts in Florida, will demonize an entire racial group as an excuse to take away the reproductive rights of every woman in their state.
They'll also try and convince you that favoring the birth of boys over girls is inherent to being Asian. They'll ignore the fact that every society has a problem with favoring men (they don't call it the patriarchy for nothing), and that in some Asian countries this translates into sex selective abortion because of the One-Child Policy, expensive dowries, rural poverty, and other factors overwhelmingly incentivize people to make that choice. These pressures don't exist in the US in the same way that they might in China or India, but if this was indeed an issue in America, then as with abortion that's not sex selective, banning the procedure won't stop people from seeking it out.
Nope, this is pure fear-mongering, based on stereotypes that Stace Nelson spent 18 years honing of those scary yellow people who are barbaric enough to kill female fetuses. As well as on a long tradition of co-opting racial and gender equality as a justification for chipping away at Roe v. Wade.
Angry Asian Man has more information on a petition that opposes this law.
Image via Shutterstock.