Missouri Abortion Ban for Sex Selection and Genetic Abnormalities Act of 2015 (HB 439)
This law was last updated on Feb 5, 2015
HB 439 would prohibit a person from intentionally performing or attempting to perform an abortion with the knowledge that the pregnant woman was seeking the abortion solely due to the sex of the unborn child or because the unborn child has been diagnosed with a genetic abnormality or a potential for a genetic abnormality.
The bill provides that a person who violates this provisions commits a Class A misdemeanor unless the person had previously pled guilty to or had been convicted of a violation of the act, in which case the person was guilty of a class D felony. The bill further states that a physician who violated the provision may have had his or her license suspended or revoked, and that a pregnant woman may not be prosecuted under the law or for conspiracy to violate the law.
Sex-selection abortions are not a widespread problem in the United States. However, anti-choice activists cite three studies documenting the use of sex-selection abortion primarily among a small number of immigrant women. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum notes that a ban similar to the proposed Missouri ban “targets and thus limits reproductive health access for Asian American & Pacific Islander women, who anti-choicers say are the ones guilty of this abortion practice. We know the real solution to ending the preference for sons in some families is getting to the root of the problem: gender inequity. If lawmakers truly want to help us, we call on them to promote equal pay, access to education, health equity, and ending violence against women.”