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Honoring Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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In honor of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we'd like to share a fantastic opinion piece about how Asian-American women are adversely affected by anti-choice legislation. You can read more from a great resource, Forward Together.

"Reproductive-health restrictions hurt Asian-American women" was written by Zeenat Hasan, a founding member of the Arizona chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and the director of Health Through Action Arizona. Here's an excerpt from this great piece:

Arizona lawmakers have enacted some of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country, from limiting access to health-care providers to restricting medical education.

The sponsors of Arizona's so-called "prenatal nondiscrimination" law justified it based on a xenophobic stereotype that Asian women prefer sons over daughters and will abort based on the sex of the fetus. The law requires doctors to determine why a woman is seeking an abortion and will potentially single out Asian Pacific-American women for greater scrutiny.

This is the only law of its kind in the country, and as an Asian-American woman, I fear its potential, damaging effects on my community. We already face many health risks. Language barriers, economic pressures and cultural taboos toward sex prevent a significant number of Asian-American and Pacific-Islander women from seeking and receiving quality and timely reproductive health services.

Our community also is less likely to use birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy, and we experience some of the highest rates of breast and other preventable cancers.

More than two-thirds of Asian Americans in Arizona are foreign born, and Arizona's Senate Bill 1070 and other anti-immigrant laws have created a chilling effect in the community. Our families need health services but are growing fearful of law enforcement as well as health and human-service providers.

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