Slate on New International Human Rights Clinic Report on Sex-Selective Abortion Laws

New Study Exposes Sex-Selective Abortion Bans for What They Are: Just Another Way to Restrict Abortion
Emily Bazelon
Slate.com
June 3, 2014

One of the arguments abortion opponents make, in favor of restricting the procedure, is that parents use it to select the sex of their babies. Here’s Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona at a 2011 Congressional hearing, talking about more boy babies being born than girl babies: “What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl.” (Franks also has argued against rape and incest exceptions to abortion bans based on the false claim that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”) Accusations about sex selection particularly target Asians. “You cannot explain the male to female demographics that are occurring in birth ratios in some ethnic groups here in the United States, and this is widespread, unless you account for sex-selective abortion,” said Spencer Cody of South Dakota Right to Life...

This week, the International Human Rights Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum are publishing a new study that exposes banning abortion based on sex-selection for what it is: a way to restrict abortion, not to combat gender discrimination. The study looks at a large and recent data set (called the American Community Survey) and concludes that foreign-born Asian-Americans and Indians don’t have birth rates that skew toward boys. Actually, “Asian Americans have more girls than white Americans.” So much for a “widespread” suspect ethnic practice.