China is infamous for its strict one-child policy and strong preference for baby boys. The horror stories continue to surface. Stringent governmental regulations cause mothers to repeatedly abort their baby daughters in desperate hopes for a son as their only child. Doctors assist in the delivery of a baby, only to discover the unwanted gender and carelessly toss the tiny girl into a bucket to die. Americans shake their heads in self-righteous disapproval, sanctimoniously pronouncing the United States as the land of the free, where people are never forced to make unwanted choices. Yet that makes this next statement all the more horrific:
Americans willingly choose the brutal death of our baby girls.
Oh, but since we get to choose, it’s not as heinous, the cunning voice of deception whispers. At least we’re not forcing our women to end the lives of their children. No, we’ve just carefully constructed our social values to make the concept so appealing, so acceptable that women choose it on their own. And that somehow makes us better than China? Oh, no, it makes our actions unspeakably worse.
We condemn China and its blatant discrimination toward women, but we have failed to protect our own American baby girls. Our Congress was presented with a bill last week to implement a nationwide ban on gender-selective abortions, but our congressmen failed to pass the measure. Because protecting our baby girls just isn’t that important to us. It’s all about choice, remember?
It is becoming increasingly clear just how far we are willing to take the idea of “choice.” The rise of gender-selective abortions reveals that nothing is off-limits when it comes to our beloved American choice. We can’t limit choice! Because choice is most important after all, the abortion rhetoric reminds us. Or is it?