Saturday, February 27, 2010

Selective abortion and female genocide

My daughter, my first child, was born in Turkey.  I was thousands of miles from home and scared to death.  I felt like I had no one to talk to about all the conflicting feelings.  For the older women on base pregnancy was old hat.  Honestly, I was so ignorant about pregnancy and motherhood that I felt silly talking to other women.  And when I did the conversation always came back to labor which resulted in the other women engaging in one upping each other with stories of how long their labor had been, how painful it had been, etc.  Despite all that, I found myself breathlessly, completely in love with the child that grew inside me.

At the same time I came to know a Turkish taxi driver whose wife was also pregnant with her first child.  The man was over the moon with joy over his wife's pregnancy.  I never met her but through him we shared our experiences during those months.  Just days before I would give birth he picked me up again.  During the ride he told me that his wife had given birth and that the child had died.  I was devastated for him and his wife and started crying as I told him how very sorry I was.  He pulled the cab over and turned around in the seat to talk to me.  I will never forget him trying to comfort me with these words, "It is okay.  It was a girl."

Mark Steyn, writing at The Corner:

When state-of-the-art totalitarianism meets primitive village culture, the result is industrial-scale depravity. These are the words of a young Chinese female university graduate:

Mother love is supposed to be such a great thing, but so many babies are abandoned, and it’s their mothers who do it. They’re ignorant. They feel differently about emotions from the way you do. Where I come from, people talk about smothering a baby girl or just throwing it[!]into a stream … to be eaten by dogs, as if it were a joke. How much do you think these women loved their babies?
Sex selection abortion is far too common in much of the world and not just China, whose "one child" policy has led to the deaths of literally millions of baby girls.  Consider this
These practices arise in areas where cultural norms value male children over female children. Societies that practice sex selection in favor of males are quite common, especially in countries like the People's Republic of China, Korea, Taiwan, and India.

In 2005, 90 million women were estimated to be "missing" in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, South Korea and Taiwan alone, apparently due to sex-selective abortion. The existence of the practice appears to be determined by culture, rather than by economic conditions, because such deviations in sex ratios do not exist in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean
"Missing"?  Is that a fluffy PC way of saying murdered?  Well, as long as it is occurring somewhere over there it really doesn't effect us now does it?  It's not like anyone is advocating for it here.  Or are they?
Since 2005, test kits such as the Baby Gender Mentor have become available over the internet. These tests have been criticized for making it easier to perform a sex-selective abortion earlier in a pregnancy. Concerns have also been raised about their accuracy.

While sex-selective abortion is controversial, even within the pro-choice community, some commentators have championed it as a means to empower women and increase familial happiness. For example, bioethicist Jacob M. Appel has written, "Mothers who want boys should have boys and mothers who want girls should have girls. Pre-implanting diagnosis offers the promising of increasing the number of children who are loved and wanted. I look forward to the day when every son knows that his parents wanted a son and every daughter knows that her parents wanted a daughter." (emphasis added)
I have no idea how many American undergo sex-selective abortions nor of those who do which sex is most often selected for termination.  The practice of selective abortion is only banned in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois in the United States.  I also note that a google search of "Planned Parenthood and selective abortion" and "NOW and selective abortion" didn't result in a finding of either organization taking a position on the practice.  Does silence equal acceptance?

Abortion is an evil practice and selective abortion magnifies the evil.  "It's okay.  It was a girl" should be repugnant to every parent of a daughter and it's irony should not be lost on any woman.

1 comment:

jill said...

What a world. Thanks for this post.