Target: South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard
Goal: Repeal racist restriction on sex-selective abortions
Recently, South Dakota lawmakers unabashedly introduced and passed a bill that they acknowledge is based on a racial stereotype of Asian immigrants, namely that they practice female infanticide, or the selective abortion of female fetuses. House bill 1162, which was just passed and signed by Gov. Daugaard, would require abortion providers to ask if a woman is seeking the procedure due to the fetus’s sex, and if so to refuse to perform it. Generally bills like these are marketed as pro-woman bills, but South Dakota right-wingers have removed the veneer of social justice.
Spencer Cody, vice president of South Dakota Right to Life, cited inconclusive studies that focus on Asian American families when he presented before the House Judiciary Committee, but later denied allegations of racism. He also told Mother Jones, “We don’t have any hard data that says, ‘This number of sex-selection abortions are taking place in South Dakota…The question, if this [ban] would actually affect any South Dakotans, is one we can’t answer yet.”
Even those pushing for the bill acknowledged that it was based on studies that do not provide enough evidence to prove that female infanticide is a problem in South Dakota. It is a serious issue in other parts of the world, thanks to poverty and government regulations, but the Guttmacher Institute has shown that this stereotype of Asians has no place in the United States, and is in fact damaging to Asian American women. This bill was a waste of taxpayer money and legislators’ time, and it only serves to perpetuate racist stereotypes.
By signing this petition, you are urging Gov. Daugaard to acknowledge the destructive racism inherent in the law, and therefore to repeal it.
Dear Governor Daugaard,
I am highly disappointed in the South Dakota legislature for wasting taxpayers’ dollars by spending time on a bill you recently signed, which bans sex-selective abortion. There is no evidence to prove that this is an issue in South Dakota, and it was passed under the racist assumption that Asian Americans practice female infanticide. Comprehensive studies have shown that these stereotypes are unfounded, and that sex-selective abortion legislation only hurts Asian women.
I urge you to acknowledge that this law only perpetuates racist stereotypes that hurt South Dakotans. I urge you to call for the repeal of this law immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: thecrazyfilmgirl via Flickr