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Women's Human Rights And Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws In The United States And India by Sital Kalantry.

Some of the most hotly contested international women's rights issues today arise from the movement of peoples from one country to another and the practices they purportedly bring with them. In Women's Human Rights and Migration, Sital Kalantry focuses on immigrants of Asian descent living in the United States who are believed to abort female fetuses because they do not want a female child. While sex-selective abortion is a human rights concern in India, should we, for that reason, assume that the practice undermines women's equality in the United States? Although some pro-choice feminists believe that these prohibitions on sex-selective abortion promote women's equality, other feminists fiercely oppose such laws, characterizing them as a Trojan horse in the larger pursuit to overturn the reproductive rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. Nearly half of state legislatures in the United States have proposed laws restricting sex-selective abortion since 2009 and nine have adopted them. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion advocates have largely succeeded in their quest with many states restricting abortion.


Selected Reviews:

Chen Wang, a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa, in the Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, calls Women’s Human Rights and Migration: Sex Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India “…a pioneering effort in offering an innovative approach to resolve current legislative dilemmas whilst ensuring women’s rights and equality.”

Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, states in the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law that “Women’s Human Rights and Migration: Sex Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India, addresses a long-existing gap in feminist theory at the intersection of a migrant woman’s experience and culturally motivated reproductive decisions.”

Aziza Ahmed, Northeastern University School of Law Professor, in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights, reviews Professor Kalantry’s “novel, insightful and controversial” transnational legal feminist approach to addressing sex-selective abortion laws in the United States and India.

Anuja Agrawal, Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi, in the International Feminist Journal of Politics says “This book is an important new contribution to the emerging field of transnational legal feminist scholarship. It seeks to fill the gaps in existing legal and policy frameworks that are increasingly called upon to address issues which arise in countries with significant migrant populations.”

Sherry Colb, Cornell Law School Professor, in Verdict says “Like most good books, Kalantry’s not only taught me a new way to think about an area that I thought I had already understood; it also inspired me to think about a completely different area in a new way as well.”

Vikrant Panchnanda, advocate in India, in the India Law Journal, notes that Kalantry “aptly presents a quantitative empirical analysis of sex ratios to determine whether Asian American sex-select (while at the same time critiquing this methodology) and conduct a political analysis of the sex-selective abortion bills in state legislatures.”

Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, Cardozo School of Law Assistant Clinical Professor, in the International Journal of Legal Information, states “Kalantry makes a significant contribution to the debate on sex selective abortion bans, offering a critical, contextual feminist lens and evidentiary basis for judges and policymakers to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of such policies on women’s rights. All U.S. policymakers who are concerned with the impact of their policymaking on the rights of women and girls should read this book for a theoretically sound, evidence-based and contextually rich analysis of highly politicized women’s rights issues.”

Deportate, Esuli, Profughe, reviewed by Sara De Vido, Professor of International Law at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, July 2018

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