Hi, Hobby Lobby. It’s me, Jenn.
I heard you won a pretty big court case today, one that established your constitutional right as a corporate conglomerate-person to infringe on my rights as an actual person-person. I heard you congratulating yourselves in what you dubbed a major blow in defense of the free practice of your religion (centered around cheaper healthcare costs?) and free expression of your political beliefs (centered around being a jerk?), both of which apparently involve limiting the reproductive rights of the women who work for (within?) you.
Well, I have the freedom of expression, too. And, I think this decision is stupid.
Last year, nearly 500 restrictions on abortion and reproductive choice were proposed at the state level nation-wide. Among those abortion restrictions were bans on sex-selective abortion; bans that have now passed in eight states — Arizona, Illinois, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Kansas and North Carolina.
Advanced by Republican pro-life legislators, the ban on sex-selective abortions cite concerns that appear superficially feminist: to protect the “unborn” from gender discrimination prior to birth. Further, these bans are based on the assertion that male-biased birth ratios are evidence of sex-selective abortion; that these male-biased birth ratios are only found in India and China; that these male-biased birth ratios are evidence of sex-selective abortion occurring in the United States; that the growing influx of Asian women immigrants from India and China means sex-selective abortion is occurring here; and that the U.S. is one of the few remaining countries in the world that has yet to ban sex-selective abortion. As I wrote about last year, these are the kinds of arguments that are being expressed on the floor of state legislatures, and they are succeeding in restricting reproductive rights for women living in those states.
Yet, closer examination of the arguments of Republican legislators reveals that it is predominantly unfounded and wholly racist anti-Asian stereotypes — not facts — that serve as the principle justification for these recent restrictions on sex-selective abortions.
Last month, I wrote about the South Dakota State Legislature’s efforts to pass further abortion restrictions in the state; in this case, to require mother’s to demonstrate that they are not pursuing an abortion in relation to the gender of the fetus. Shockingly, bill authors and defenders linked the need for this bill to the state’s growing AAPI population, invoking arguments that AAPI mothers are predisposed to sex-based abortions.
As I wrote last month:
Check my previous post for why this bill is clearly racist, and draws upon historic fears of the immorality of Asian Americans to pass legislation that stoke the fears of racist hate.
Sadly, despite the efforts of women’s rights groups like the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (@NAPAWF), this bill — HR1162 — has passed the South Dakota State House and Senate, and is now on South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk.
Act Now! Please sign this petition to urge Governor Daugaard to veto HR1162, and share this post widely!
We’re a mere two months into 2014, and the year is already shaping up to break records on Republican irrationality. In South Dakota last week, state lawmakers passed a bill 60-10 that would ban sex-based abortion. Why, you might ask?
Because, say bill supporters, the state has a growing population of Asians, and Asians are all about aborting girl babies.
Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!