Women's Human Rights and Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India.

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Kalantry, Sital. Women's Human Rights and Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

Women's Human Rights and Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India is a meticulously researched analysis and critique of sex-selective abortion policies and legislation in the United States that branches into multidisciplinary connections across a range of related fields. Author Sital Kalantry is a clinical professor of law, director of the International Human Rights Policy Advocacy Clinic, and co-director of the Migration and Human Rights Program at Cornell Law School. Her book is vitally important to academic scholars and policy makers interested in the complex intersections of transnational human rights law, women's reproductive rights, immigration, and other concerns where competing human rights claims put women's human rights at stake, as in the case she makes concerning legislation that affects sex-selective abortion and Asian immigrants in the United States. She writes, "In regulating practices of immigrants, advocates, legislators, and even some pro-choice feminists (erroneously) draw conclusions about the scope, motives, and impact of a practice based on their (mis)understanding of how the practice is undertaken in the country of origin of certain immigrants" (1).

Her book is divided into topical sections and she specifically addresses the issues through perceptive questions and statements of fact. Significantly, Kalantry demonstrates how misconceptions find their way into newspaper and magazine reports in articles such as "US Asians Show Bias for Boys" (110). Analyzing the politics of sex-selective abortion laws in the United States, Kalantry employs legal logic to demonstrate clearly that bans on sex selection in India and China produce radically different effects when applied to migrants living in the United States (93). Kalantry persuasively argues that decontextualizing cultural practices such as sex selection "homogenizes people" and produces unintentional harms based on flawed logic and historically tenacious misconceptions that anti-abortion advocates blame on "culture," particularly "son preference" (134-136). She considers a wide array of arguments based on standard criminal arguments of intent and conduct and she analyzes specific loopholes in model bills and other exceptions to particular legal frameworks to unpack how...

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