The House GOP’s Latest Anti-Abortion Bill Fed into Racial Stereotypes About Asians
PRENDA, the latest anti-women bill by the House Republicans did not pass, thankfully (my angry black overlady wrote about it here). It’s a particularly egregious bill because in it, the Republicans claimed that their concern was for all the fetuses of color and girl fetuses being aborted. They were so concerned, they named the bill after Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglass – a woman and a black man respectively. The full name of the bill is the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (H.R. 3541.) Nondiscrimination is good, right?!? Unless it’s used as a smokescreen to hide the true intentions of the bill.
My angry black overlady also dismantled the bullshit about the pretend concern the GOP have for fetuses of color in a second post about PRENDA, but there is one aspect of the bill that I want to tackle – the anti-Asian American portion of the bill. Yes, you read that right. Not content to just go after black women, the Republicans decided to go all-in on racial stereotyping and denigrate Asian American women as well.
The bill’s author, Trent Franks (R-AZ), claimed that “sex selection is demonstrably increasing here in the United States, especially but not exclusively in the Asian immigrant community.” First of all, prove it, asshole. All of it. Show me your stats or shut the fuck up. Per the Think Progress link above, with this bill, only 1.5% of abortions performed would be during the time frame when sex selection was even an option. In the other cases, it would be up to the doctor to determine if a woman was having an abortion for sex-selective/race-based purposes – which would be forcing a doctor to do something s/he isn’t trained to do. I have a hunch that most doctors would not welcome the additional responsibility.
Second of all, Franks thinks that Asian American women will have abortions based on sex-selection ‘coz that’s how they do it in China and India! That’s lazy thinking on his part, too. This ain’t China or India, and it’s an insult to Asian/Asian American women for Franks to suggest that they, that we are simply victims of our cultures and not autonomous beings with independent thoughts and actions. Just because that’s how it’s sometimes done in the old country, it doesn’t mean that Asian women automatically bring that mindset to America when they immigrate. It’s ludicrous for Franks to make sweeping statements about the two most populous nations on earth in the first place, but that’s another post for another day.
Franks and his allies say that they are attempting to pass bills like this because this, THIS is the true war on women, and not the fact that they are trying to take away a woman’s right to choose. They claim that sex-selective abortions are on the rise (again, show me the stats or shut. the. fuck. up) , therefore, they must pass bills like this to protect unborn girl fetuses.
Frankly, Representative Franks, this is a steaming pile of bullshit. If you truly cared about helping women, your party would have voted yes on the Lily Ledbetter Act, yes to equal pay for equal work, yes on the original Violence Against Women Act, yes to giving work benefits to stay-at-home moms, and you would be ardent about a woman’s right to choose. Allow me to quote myself from a previous post:
This is what all these assholes are neglecting to mention when they prattle on and on about being pro-life; they are making it difficult for actual living women to live their real, in-this-world lives when restricting said women’s rights to choose. A woman who does not have the right to choose if and when she has children has less economic autonomy, and that certainly doesn’t improve the quality of one’s life. Anyone who wants to dictate to a woman if and when she can have children does not have said woman’s best interest at heart – period; it doesn’t matter what pretty rhetoric in which said sentiment is wrapped.
Republicans know or at least sense that they are taking a hit for all their recent anti-women bullshit, so they tried to present their latest bill in a way that on the face of it would appeal to liberals. Don’t let their disingenuous rhetoric fool you – the bottom line still is that they simply want to deny women the right to choose what to do with our own bodies. For once, they failed – I am sure they will try again.
Image courtesy of Andy Eick, via Wikipedia Commons. All rights reserved.