Groups Ask Court to Block State from Banning Race and Gender-Based Abortions

Mar 13, 2014

Saying the law stigmatizes their races, members of two groups asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to block the state from banning race and gender-based abortions. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Rep. Steve Montenegro

The law makes it a felony for a doctor to terminate a pregnancy knowing a woman is seeking it based on the sex or race of the child. During the 2011 debate, Rep. Steve Montenegro said there was evidence that blacks have a higher abortion rate than other races and lashed out at abortion providers.

“These people have wreaked enough damage in our world already. They’re the people behind genocides. They tell minorities and women they are worth less,” Montenegro said.

He also said women in Asian countries, preferring boys, will abort girls. A challenge filed by the NAACP and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum was thrown out by a trial judge who said they had no right to sue because no members were being denied an abortion. But, the ACLU contends the fact the bill is based on racial stereotypes of blacks and Asian women makes it illegal because it stigmatizes them. Attorney Dan Pochoda said the U.S. Supreme Court found that kind of stigma was enough to rule more than a half century ago that separate-but-equal segregated schools for blacks are illegal.

“The fact of branding them as inferior, which the court found was done by this process created stigmatic harm that all members of that group would carry around with he or she and would impact the way they were treated and looked upon by others,” Pochoda said.