Opinion Brief

Does Arizona's new abortion law 'police women's thoughts'?

After Gov. Jan Brewer bans any abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus, critics say the government has no right to question women's motives

Arizona has become the first state in the nation to make it illegal for a doctor to "perform an abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus." Critics say the law is founded on a phony premise, because there is no statistical evidence that such abortions are even occurring. Besides, they say, abortion is legal, so lawmakers have no right meddling in the thought process behind a woman's decision to have one. Is the Arizona law a reasonable restriction, or an invasion of privacy? (Watch an MSNBC discussion about the new law.)

This is a massive overreach: We can all agree that the idea of having "sex-based or race-based abortions is bad," says Jeanne Sager at The Stir. But Arizona's anti-abortion politicians are trying to "police women's thoughts," which you just can't do in a free country. "As long as a woman can legally get an abortion, the government has no business marching into her brain and asking her why."
"New Arizona abortion law will police women's thoughts"

The new law merely prevents discrimination: If everyone accepts that terminating a fetus because it's a girl or black is wrong, says Population Research Institute Executive Director Steve Mosher, as quoted by LifeSiteNews, then there is no reason for feminists or civil rights activists to oppose Arizona's law. The National Organization for Women should be joining "the battle to ban this terrible form of sex discrimination that is killing so many unborn baby girls."
"Ban on race and sex selective abortions passes Arizona legislature"

Uh, it actually has nothing to do with fighting discrimination: "Sex-selection in abortions would be a real problem — if it actually were a problem," says Monica Potts at The American Prospect. And as for race, how many expectant mothers "suddenly discriminate" against a fetus conceived with their chosen partners because of its skin color? The politicians in Arizona should just be honest and admit this is about limiting abortion rights, instead of inventing a problem to trick people into backing their cause.
"Limiting abortion under the guise of anti-racism"

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