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Prohibiting Sex-Selective Abortion in America


Current Efforts to Prohibit Sex-Selective Abortion in America

The following eight states have passed laws prohibiting sex-selective abortions: Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. Numerous other states have put forward legislation to prohibit abortions based on the sex of the fetus.

Federal Legislation

In January of 2015, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2015 (PRENDA) was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. PRENDA prohibits sex-selective abortions, as well as “the use of force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection abortion.”

You can read the full text of SB 48 here.

State Legislation

Arizona

In 2011, Arizona enacted a law prohibiting abortion based on sex or race. The bill, HB 2443, also prohibits the use of force or threat of force for the purpose of coercing a sex-selective or race-based abortion. The bill specifically states that the woman on whom the abortion is performed to not subject to liability. You can read the full text of HB 2443 here.

Colorado

In January of 2015, Colorado introduced a bill prohibiting sex-selective abortions. In March, the Colorado House Committee on State, Military, and Veterans Affairs voted 6 to 5 to indefinitely postpone the bill. You can read the full text of HB 1162 here.

Illinois

Illinois enacted a ban against sex-selective abortions in 1975.

Indiana

In January of 2015, HB 1228 was introduced in the Indiana House. The bill would prohibit abortion based on sex or disability. The bill died in committee in January of 2015. You can read the full text of HB 1228 here.

In January of 2015, Senate Bill 334 was introduced to the Indiana Senate. The bill prohibits abortion based on sex or disability. As of March 2015, the bill had been referred to the House Committee on Public Policy. You can read the full text of SB 334 here.

Iowa

In January of 2015, Iowa introduced a bill banning abortions motivated solely by the sex of the fetus. The bill died in committee in January of 2015. You can read the full text of SF 44 here.

Kansas

In April of 2013, Kansas governor Sam Brownback signed HB 2253 into law, thereby penalizing persons who knowingly perform abortions motivated solely by the sex of the fetus. Persons in violation of the law are liable to pay monetary damages. The woman on whom the abortion is performed cannot be prosecuted. You can read the full text of HB 2253, as passed, here.

Louisiana

In April of 2015, Louisiana Representatives Lenar Whitney and Frank Hoffman sponsored a bill prohibiting abortion based on sex. The bill has now been referred to the Committee on Health and Welfare. You can read the full text of HB 701 here.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts proposed a ban on sex-selective abortions in January of 2014. You can read the full text of H 1547 here.

Mississippi

In 2014, Mississippi introduced Senate Bill 2790 to the Committee on Public Health which would prohibit abortions based on gender or race. The bill died in committee. You can read the full text here.

Missouri

In January of 2015, Missouri Representative Andrew Koenig introduced legislation prohibiting abortions based on sex or genetic disability. You can read the full text of HB 439 here.

New York

On March 26th, the New York Assembly proposed Assembly Bill 6545 prohibiting sex-selective abortions. The bill died in committee. You can read the full text of AB 6545 here.

North Carolina

North Carolina currently prohibits sex-selective abortions. The current North Carolina law was signed in July 2013, and went into effect in October 2013. The law holds in civil contempt persons who perform or attempt to perform a sex-selective abortion. Violators are subject to fines. The law states that, “No fine shall be assessed against the woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted.” You can read the full text of the law here.

North Dakota

In March of 2013, North Dakota enacted a law prohibiting abortion motivated solely based on sex or a genetic abnormality. Any violating physicians are guilty of a class A misdemeanor. You can read the full text of the law here.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma enacted a law in 2009 prohibiting “an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant female is seeking the abortion solely on account of the sex of the unborn child.” Violators are subject to a fine. You can read the full text of the final law here.

Oregon

In January of 2015, Oregon Senator Lona Thatcher sponsored Senate Bill 108, prohibiting abortion in the third trimester based on sex. The bill died in committee.

In February of 2015, Oregon Representatives Sherrie Sprenger and Carl Wilson sponsored House Bill 2986. The bill would prohibit third trimester abortions based on sex. The bill died in committee.

In March of 2015, House Bill 3458 was introduced. The bill would ban abortions in the third trimester based on sex. The bill was referred to committee, and no action has been taken on it since. You can read the full text of HB 3458 here.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania enacted a ban against sex-selective abortions in 1982.

South Dakota

In March of 2014, South Dakota enacted HB 1162, prohibiting abortions based on sex. You can read the full text of the final bill here.

Texas

In November of 2014, the Texas House of Representatives filed legislation prohibiting abortion based on sex. The bill, HB 113, was read and referred to State Affairs in February. You can read the full text of HB 113 here.

Virginia

In 2013, Virginia proposed legislation prohibiting sex-selective abortions. The bill died in 2014. You can read the full text of HB 98 here.

West Virginia

West Virginia proposed a bill that would prohibit abortions motivated solely by the sex of the fetus in January of 2015. The bill died in committee. You can read the full text of HB 2031 here.

Wisconsin

In 2013, Wisconsin proposed AB 217 to prohibit sex-selective abortions. The bill failed in the Senate in 2014. You can read the full text of AB 217 here.

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