Rhode Island Sex-Selective Abortion Ban (H 5158)
This law was last updated on Jul 7, 2017
H 5158 would prohibit a person from performing or attempting to perform an abortion with the knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely on account of the sex of the “unborn child.”
Any physician who intentionally violates this provision would be considered to have engaged in unprofessional conduct, and his/her license would be subject to suspension or revocation by the State Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline.
Any woman upon whom the unlawful abortion was performed, the father of the “unborn child,” or the grandparent of the “unborn child” may maintain action against the person who performed the abortion for damages. They may also maintain a cause of action for injunctive relief against the person who performed the abortion.
If passed, the law would take effect immediately.
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 Texas 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.”