PHOENIX, Arizona, March 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A bill that would ban abortions based on the race or gender of the baby was passed by the Arizona House of Representatives yesterday, and now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for approval.

Titled the “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011,” the bill would make it a Class 3 felony to perform or in any way coerce someone into receiving an abortion based on the race or gender of the unborn child.

Doctors who violate the law could face prison terms and the loss of their medical license. Any medical professional who fails to report a violation would be subject to a $10,000 fine.

Additionally, the law allows the father of an unborn child, if he is married to the mother, to bring a civil action on the child’s behalf. In the case of an abortion performed on the baby of a minor, the baby’s maternal grandparents would be similarly able to take legal action on the baby’s behalf.

In its original form, the penalty for doctors who violated the law was a $10,000 civil fine. After the Senate modified it to make violation a felony, it returned to the House for approval, and is now headed for the governor’s desk.

According to an Arizona Central report, the governor’s spokesman, Matthew Benson, referenced Gov. Brewer’s “strong pro-life record” in his comments on the bill, but declined to elaborate further.

Representative Steve Montenegro, the bill’s sponsor, posted on Twitter yesterday: “A historic day! My HB2443 (Prohibits Sex & Race based abortion) Passed final vote in the House 2day. First in the nation! Now to the Gov.”

Critics of the bill, such as Democratic Senator Linda Lopez, deny there is any evidence of race or gender-selective abortions in the United States. Lopez called the measure “offensive” and “odious,” according to the Tucson Sentinel.

Pro-life proponents of such measures, however, have pointed to the disproportionately high rate of abortions among minorities as evidence that racially motivated abortions are occurring in the United States, as well as clear evidence from a recent Live Action sting operation that Planned Parenthood is willing to accept racially-motivated donations.

One employee at a Planned Parenthood development office in Idaho told a Live Action actor posing as a prospective donor that the donor’s stated desire to have “less black kids” in the world was “understandable.” The employee later added, “This is the first time I’ve had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I’m excited, and want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.”

The Arizona bill would criminalize the acceptance of such donations, prohibiting the solicitation or acceptance of money to finance a sex-selective or gender-selective abortion.

The Tucson Sentinel reported that Republican Senator Nancy Barto has also expressed support for the bill’s measures against gender-selective abortions, claiming, “Sex-selection abortions are happening in this country, and it’s time that we address it head on.”

Barto’s claim is backed up by recent research from the Population Research Institute and others. A 2008 video released by the organization cites a study published by the National Academy of Sciences which found that among Asian-Americans, the sex of a couple’s first child is a predictor of the sex of future children.

Of Asian-American families with an eldest daughter, the sex ratio of second children is 117 boys to every 100 girls. When the two oldest are both girls, the sex ratio of the third child is 150 boys to 100 girls. In contrast, among families with an eldest son, the sex ratio of future children conforms to the universal norm of 105 boys to every 100 girls.

These disproportionate ratios, says the organization, are a clear indication of sex-selective abortions occurring in the United States among Asian-Americans.

PRI Executive Director Steve Mosher called the practice of sex-selective abortion “the ultimate form of discrimination on the basis of sex.”

“So far, the feminist groups have been silent on this issue. Why? Where are the feminists when you need them? I challenge the National Organization of Women and other feminist groups to join us in the battle to ban this terrible form of sex discrimination that is killing so many unborn baby girls,” said Mosher.