ACLU Tries to Block 2011 Law It Says Targets Minority Women Seeking Abortions
The ACLU is suing to stop a 2011 Arizona law it says targets Black and Asian or Pacific Islander women for seeking abortions based on the race or sex of their baby.
The lawsuit claims the law targets minority groups, and is a violation of the 14th Amendment and its equal protection clause, because Arizona House Bill 2443 was passed to single out Black women for their allegedly higher rate of abortions, and Asian or Pacific Islander women, because it was believed they might abort unwanted female children.
The law, also called the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011, requires doctors to fill out an affidavit for women saying the abortion is not based on the child's sex or race, and that the mother is not seeking an abortion for this reason. It also allows the father or family members to sue the doctor if they believe the abortion was performed based on race or sex selection.
This affidavit is given to all women seeking an abortion, but Dianne Post of the NAACP's Maricopa Chapter says the law's intent was to target minority communities.
The ACLU's complaint cited two main racially motivated reasons for why the legislature passed the bill:
" ... that the high rate of abortion in the Black community proves that Black women are terminating their pregnancies in order to "de-select" members of their own race and ... that the future immigration of [Asian or Pacific Islander] women to Arizona will make sex-selection abortion an issue within the state."
The complaint lists comments on the legislative record from the House bill hearing, which wind from the racially insensitive, to full-blown conspiracy theories.