March 31, 2011
Arizona bans race- and sex-based abortions
Story here. A constitutional-law-teaching friend of mine once (mischievously?) wrote an examination that involved evaluating a federal ban (one that, the exam stated, relied on Congress's power to "enforce" the 14th amendment's equal-protection requirement).
It strikes me that the law will probably not reduce by very many the number of abortions in Arizona. It does, however, I would think, have a symbolic / educational / pedagogical effect; it makes (some) people think about abortion differently, even though it will probably not limit any person's ability to obtain an abortion.
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I understand that race, more so than gender, ignites debate, as with the billboards and statistics and so on. But I am perplexed as to how anyone thinks a particular abortion could be race-based? I understand that some parents prefer boys so strongly as to abort a daughter based on that. I understand how some mothers go along.
But a racist mom who dislikes her black baby? Huh? The racist mom had a black husband/father? And to what end? The gender-selectors hope the next one comes out "right." Not so for the mixed-race couple. They hope the next one is lighter?
I suppose it would take the confused, "partly racist" mom who does not mind interracial sex, but would not want a baby to result, so she aborts, but would be happy to have a kid with her next white boyfriend?
What am I missing? Again, I can see how others might be accused of promoting abortion based on race, for individual cases (disapproving (grand)parents) or overall.
(Also, I recognize that the hypothetical racism could run in any direction of black-white-Asian, but used the example that seems the target of the sponsors.)
Posted by: joe reader | Mar 31, 2011 5:06:17 PM