NRL News

South Dakota Governor signs ban on sex-selection abortions

by | Apr 1, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard

My apologies. We’ve written three separate stories about how South Dakota’s proposed ban on sex selection abortion had wended its way through the legislative process (see, most recently, and then I managed to miss that after HB 1162 passed the state House (60-10) and Senate (30-5), Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the bill into law last week.

The passage is significant for a number of reasons. Here are just five.

#1. South Dakota becomes the sixth state to ban this particularly egregious form of sex discrimination. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arizona, North Dakota, and Kansas already have such a law on their books.

#2. There is wide and deep support for such legislation. Last year The Polling Company found that 85% did not think that sex selection abortions should be legal while only 11% would allow abortion for sex selection. (81% of the 1,003 registered voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had voted to keep sex selection abortion legal.)

#3. Jen Aulwes, a spokesperson at Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, told Teddy Wilson (writing for the pro-abortion website that “This bill is a solution in search of a problem that does not exist.” (Back to that momentarily.)

We read further in that story, “The legislation’s proponents also say it was designed to prevent gender discrimination—something Planned Parenthood’s Jen Aulwes says the group is already opposed to. ‘We don’t believe that this bill will accomplish anything to end gender bias,’ said Aulwes. ‘We urge leaders to challenge the underlying conditions that lead to these types of beliefs and practices in the first place.”

So we’re told it doesn’t exist; if discrimination based on gender did exist (or would exist), the law wouldn’t do anything until the “root causes” are addressed. Heads they win, tails we (and female babies) lose.

Never mind that by requiring abortionists to ask whether sex selection is a factor in the abortion decision you might help a woman under enormous pressure from her husband and/or her family to abort because she is carrying a girl rather than a boy. Or that you might find out that having an abortion because the child is the “wrong” sex may not be as isolated as the Planned Parenthood types insist is the case.

#4. It is not up for debate that some cultures strongly prefer boys over girls and that they’ve carried this preference with them as they have come to North America. Obviously the extent is impossible to gauge because abortionists aren’t interested in asking on their own why a woman wants an abortion. Since pro-abortionists insist they, too, opposed gender discrimination, the only way to take people’s eyes off of saving female babies is to insist that opposing sex-selection abortion is a kind of racial profiling.

These people have no consciences.

#5. The way Wilson at concludes there is no sex selection abortion problem is to quote a report from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. Here are two quick points about Guttmacher’s, “A Problem-and-Solution Mismatch: Son Preference and Sex-Selective Abortion Bans.”

First, the author, Sneha Barot, does grudgingly concede, “There is some evidence—although limited and inconclusive—to suggest that the practice may also occur among Asian communities in the United States.” In fact there is more evidence that is conceded, as you find in the studies Barot cites.

Second, Wilson argues (borrowing from Barot) that those who talk about the disparate boy/girl ratios don’t “pinpoint” whether the cause is “prepregnancy techniques involving fertility treatments or sex-selective abortions.” But as Jonathan Coppage pointed out in a post published today, “more advanced reproductive technologies, like IVF or sperm sorting” are so expensive and so rare, it “means that almost all prenatal sex selection most likely takes place by abortion.”

Sex-selection abortion is a lethal sex discrimination which Americans widely oppose. You would think even Planned Parenthood and Guttmacher would be on the right side on this one.