Arizona bans abortions based on race, gender

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A new Arizona law outlaws abortions performed on the basis of the race or gender of the fetus. It criminalizes performing abortions for the purposes of selecting offspring basis of a gender or race preference.

Under the new law signed into being by Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer any doctor or other medical professional found guilty under the new law would face felony charges. The women having the abortions however would not be charged.

This is the first such law in the US, as anti-abortion activists have acted quickly to take advantage of conservative gains in state offices across the nation.

Supporters of the law argue the bill puts a stop to discrimination based on gender and race, and is less about abortion broadly.

Opponents however argue the bill is a direct attack on womens rights, because there is no clear evidence such abortions are occurring in Arizona.

"This law creates a highly unusual requirement that women state publicly their reason for choosing to terminate a pregnancy – a private decision they already made with their physician, partner and family," Bryan Howard of Planned Parenthood Federation of America told Reuters.

The new law goes into effect 90 days after the end of the current legislative session.