Ark. Governor Signs Bill Banning Sex-Selection Abortions

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — On Wednesday (March 29) Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill banning  sex-selection abortions.

House Bill 1434, filed by Representative Charlie Collins, will ban abortions that are performed solely based on the sex of the baby by creating the sex discrimination by abortion prohibition act.

Sex-selection abortions are used to halt the pregnancy and birth of a child that is not the desired sex. The bill states that the victims of sex-selection abortions are usually female.

The bill states that allowing these abortions is undesirable because women are a vital part of society, and that “countries with high rates of male preference have experienced ill effects as a result of having a increasing population of young, unmarried men.”

Doctors will be required to ask women if they know the sex of the unborn child before performing an abortion. If the answer is yes, doctors must now inform women that sex-selection abortions are illegal.

Sexual discrimination is illegal in the United States in many areas, including employment, education, athletics, and health insurance. Now the HB1434 will expand the sexual discrimination protection to unborn children.

The bill also states that sex-selection abortions are more dangerous for women, because the procedures are performed later in the pregnancy after the woman learns the sex of her child. It cites that women are 35 times more likely to die from an abortion that is performed at 20 weeks than during the first trimester. Women are 91 times more likely to die at 21 weeks or greater.

Physicians who knowingly perform a sex-selection abortion could face a Class A misdemeanor as well as fines, prison time and a loss of their license. Woman who receive an abortion would not be subject to criminal charges.

The law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.