A new study from the University of Chicago School of Law has found that Asian American parents are more likely to have girls than white parents.
Why is this important? Eight states have passed laws banning sex based abortions under the mistaken belief that immigrants from Asia are prone to have abortions based on their preference for boys.
The report uncovered six myths.
- Foreign-born Chinese, Indian and Korean-Americans, as well as all Asian Americans considered as a group, have more girls on average than U.S.-born white Americans.
- Sex-selective abortion bans in Pennsylvania and Illinois are not associated with higher numbers of girl children.
- Only four countries other than the United States have laws explicitly banning sex-selective abortion. Most countries that are concerned about sex selection prohibit procedures that allow for sex selection prior to implantation of the embryo into the uterus, and do not restrict abortion.
- Though Asian Americans are most discussed by lawmakers trying to pass sex-selective abortion bans, two countries, Liechtenstein and Armenia, have male-skewed sex ratios at birth are higher than India and China.
- Sex-selective abortion bans in the United States have been proposed by legislators who oppose abortion generally.
- The fact that more boys are born than girls in a given population does not demonstrate that abortions are causing the disparity.
“This report debunks the myths that have been used to advance an anti-abortion agenda that stigmatizes Asian American and Pacific Islanders,” said Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. “We’ve long thought of this type of legislation as ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing.’ This research lays bare the disguise, and what remains is legislation that promotes racial stereotyping and is deeply offensive to Asian American families.”