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Fight Against Sex-Selective Abortion Ban Successful in San Fran

Asian-American advocates say the proposed ban prohibiting sex-selective abortions was "anti-immigrant" and based on "harmful stereotypes," not facts.
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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution prohibiting a ban on sex-selective abortions on Tuesday, becoming the first city in the country to do so.

The measure, which was sponsored by Supervisor David Chiu, was endorsed by the board without going to a vote. Chiu repeatedly said that the increasingly common campaigns for sex-selective abortion bans around the country were “anti-immigrant” and “exploiting harmful stereotypes.”

California Assemblywoman Shannon Grove introduced the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which would bar all California women from aborting pregnancies because of gender, earlier this year. That bill did not make it past its first committee vote.

Eight states have approved bans on sex-selective abortions and many lawmakers have cited an alleged preference in the Asian-American community for sons as a justification for the ban. But a recent study noted that the preference for sons by Asian immigrants may have been exaggerated. Researchers found that immigrants from India, China and Korea were actually slightly more likely to have daughters than most.

"We find that this legislation is based on myths and misinformation," wrote Professor Sital Kalantry, one of the authors of the study.