Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed legislation to ban abortions based on the race or sex of the unborn child or based on the race of a parent.
"Governor Brewer believes society has the responsibility to protect its most vulnerable, the unborn," the governor's spokesman Matthew Benson told The Arizona Republic. He described the bill as consistent with the governor's "pro-life track record."
The law makes it a Class 3 felony knowingly to perform or finance an abortion sought on the grounds of sex or race, with a maximum punishment of 3 1/2 years in prison.
Illinois, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania already have laws barring sex-selective abortion, but the Arizona law is the first to ban race-based abortion, the New York-based Guttmacher Institute says.
Supporters of the legislation said discrimination-based abortions should be prohibited.