The following comes from a Sept. 11 email sent by the office of Assemblywoman Shannon Grove. Below is the story in the San Francisco Examiner describing the San Francisco supervisors’ actions.
Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) rejects the arguments made in a resolution introduced by San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu, which condemns legislators, like Grove, who introduced bills to ban sex-selective abortion. Chiu said laws like Grove’s Pre-natal Nondiscrimination Act, introduced earlier this year, inflict “racial discrimination” on Asian American women. But Assemblywoman Grove believes allowing doctors to abort children, because parents were hoping for a different sex, perpetuates gender discrimination of the worst kind.
“Californians value life, liberty, and equality. And they overwhelmingly condemn sex-selection abortion, because it discriminates against vulnerable and innocent young girls,” Assemblywoman Shannon Grove said. “Many California legislators also claim to be against sex-selection abortion, yet they wouldn’t support my bill to outlaw it. But if it is wrong, why shouldn’t our laws reflect this. The practice is already outlawed in China, India, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Are all these countries’ laws motivated by racism?”
Last Spring, Assemblywoman Grove introduced AB 2336, the Pre-natal Nondiscrimination Act, but it failed passage in the Assembly Health Committee on May 6, 2014.
The following members of the Assembly voted against it: Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata), Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Roger Hernández (D-West Covina), Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), and Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont).
Here are links to a list of studies highlighting the problem of sex selection abortions in California and the US:
Grove represents the citizens of California’s 34th Assembly District, covering a majority of Kern County.
The following comes from a Sept. 9 story in the San Francisco Examiner.
San Francisco would become the first jurisdiction in the country to go on record opposing sex-selective abortion bans if a resolution stating they perpetuate racial stereotypes, being introduced by Supervisor David Chiu today, is adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
Sex-selective abortion bans prohibit terminating a pregnancy on the basis of sex, and doctors who perform such abortions can face fines, jail time or lawsuits. The bans “encourage racial profiling of women by some medical providers,” according to Chiu’s resolution, and can lead to women being denied services.
“Lawmakers across the country have successfully advocated for sex-selective abortion bans by perpetuating false and harmful racial stereotypes that such laws are necessary to stop an influx of Asian immigrants from spreading this practice, and that Asian American communities do not value the lives of women,” states the resolution, which Chiu will announce at City Hall today.
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum has been fighting sex-selective abortion bans since 2008, when such legislation was first introduced in Congress by Arizona Republican Trent Franks. After failing to pass three times in the House of Representatives and once in the Senate, the legislation took flight in individual states and has become a growing trend, said Shivana Jorawar, the nonprofit’s reproductive justice program director.
Sex-selective abortion bans have been introduced in 21 states and passed in eight and became the second-most proposed abortion ban in the country last year.
The nonprofit has been bringing Asian-American women to speak against the ban in states where the issue arises. The group, which co-authored a report in June to debunk myths around sex-selective abortions, then reached out to Chiu to propose a resolution because San Francisco is the home to a large Asian-American population.
“We wanted to do this on our terms, our own narrative and we didn’t want to continue fighting the legislation in a way where we were only responding to the anti-choice rhetoric,” Jorawar said.
The ban “reiterates some of the stereotypes that Asian women don’t value their daughters at some level,” posing concerns around gender equity, added Jenny Lam, director of programs for the San Francisco-based organization Chinese for Affirmative Action.
Chiu said he decided to introduce the resolution in light of the bans in other states as well as its recent introduction in California in May.
“This is to educate the public and states around the country about how pernicious this policy would be,” he said. “And how this policy could lead to the denial of health care services to women and really stigmatize immigrant women in particular.”
To read the original Examiner story, click here.