Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is the proposed ban on sex and race-based abortions in FL a veiled attack on women's rights?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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Last week State Sen. Gary Siplin (D-Orlando), introduced Senate Bill 1702, which seeks to criminalize race and sex-based abortions in Florida. Dubbed the "Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity for Life Act," the bill would require "a person performing a termination of pregnancy to first sign an affidavit stating that he or she is not performing the termination of pregnancy because of the child’s sex or race and has no knowledge that the pregnancy is being terminated because of the child’s sex or race, etc."

A similar bill was proposed in the House on the same day by State Rep. Scott Plakon ( R-Longwood): House Bill 1327. Referencing two of the most obvious champions of gender and racial equality in the bill's title, these lawmakers want the public to view this measure in terms of ensuring equality for all. However, some believe this law is merely a covert attempt to chip away at women's rights.

This legislation follows on the heels of a similar bill passed in Arizona, and another bill filed last month in the U.S. House by Trent Franks ( R-Ariz.).

To my knowledge there have been no reports suggesting that race or sex-based abortions are a problem in this country. This bill could even criminalize the termination of fetuses that are afflicted with painful or devastating sex-linked diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). As it stands, this law appears to be just one more obstacle doctors and women will have to negotiate in order to secure an abortion.

Read the full text of Senate Bill 1702 here, and House Bill 1327 here.

Read more about this issue at FloridaIndependent.com

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