Human Rights

Controversy of gender-based abortions redraws the abortion lines

Could it be many pro-choice men and women in our nation aren’t quite as pro-abortion as they thought they were?

As Planned Parenthood’s willingness to facilitate gender-based abortions has been revealed and a national ban on sex-selective abortions surfaced in Congress, the unborn little girls of America have made their way into the national spotlight in recent weeks. Amid the controversy and conflicting voices, one fact has been proved certain: gender-based abortions are an extremely uncomfortable issue for the pro-choice movement. Why? Because it stretches their principle of “unrestricted choice” to new limits. It tests how far they are willing to take their “my body, my choice” philosophy. And it reveals the pro-choice ideology a little too realistically – a radical ideology where the preference of the mother always gains priority over the life of the fetus.

To approach my point from a slightly different angle:

Pro-choice advocates should readily uphold the morality of gender-selective abortions.

While it is hardly an assertion you’d expect to read in a pro-life article, this statement – horrific though it may be – is entirely rational. If pro-choicers are to be consistent in their logic and argumentation, they will readily support gender-based abortions. The pro-choice argument of “my body, my choice” is hardly defeated by the condescending pronouncement, “Oh, but it’s a girl.” The argument assumes that because the fetus is inside the woman’s body, the unborn child has no right to life. The gender of the fetus has absolutely no bearing on arguments like these.

Pro-choice woman Allison Benedikt demonstrates her understanding of pro-choice logic, writing:

It’s entirely irrelevant why a woman wants an abortion… it makes no sense to give in to this idea that there’s somehow something a little queasier about having an abortion for gender, than, say, for money. These are equally legitimate reasons (or, if you are on the other side, equally illegitimate).

As cruel as Benedikt’s argumentation sounds, she does not hesitate to realistically depict the pro-choice movement for what it is – a movement with absolutely no concern for the life of a child unless it is breathing air like you and me.

Benedikt continues:

One [of these reasons] might make you uncomfortable in your gut, but it can’t make the [pro-choice] movement hesitate. Because that hesitation… makes it that much easier for so many of those other reasons (money, timing, work) to seem a little not-OK too.

And that is precisely why the issue of gender-selective abortions is so destructive to the pro-choice movement. While a strong majority of Congress members supported the recent sex-selective abortion ban (246-168), a general abortion ban would hardly have received such strong support. And thus, the hypocrisy of the pro-choice movement glares through. A mother is seeking an abortion because she wants to pursue her career without the burden of a child? Perfectly acceptable – remember, it’s her choice and her life! Oh, but a mother prefers a son over a daughter? Now the hackles are raised. Gender discrimination! Unacceptable!

Brad MacDonald at the Trumpet exposes this double standard, writing:

Morally, is there really a distinction between ending a pregnancy because the parent/s don’t want a girl, and ending a pregnancy because the parent/s simply don’t want a child? Either way, the end result is the termination of an unborn human.

So why is the pro-choice confusion over whether to support or oppose sex-selective abortions such good news to the pro-life movement? What does it convey to us as pro-life advocates? It means that hearts are significantly closer to being won over than we might have realized. It indicates that many pro-choice men and women in our nation aren’t quite as pro-abortion as they thought they were. And it challenges us to continue fighting with renewed vigor to change minds, hearts, and lives.

If you consider yourself pro-choice, yet feel a twinge of unease at the idea of a fetus being aborted simply because of her gender, perhaps you are closer to the side of life than you realize. Maybe a hidden part of you recognizes that the unborn must posses a degree of humanity. Deep down, perhaps you want to believe that abortion is not the only answer to an unwanted pregnancy. I plead with you to rethink abortion in light of the humanity of the unborn. Allow yourself to entertain the possibility that the so-called “blob of tissue” might resemble a human baby. Marvel at the miracle of life in the womb – boy or girl, wanted or unwanted – and resolve to never let an unborn child’s right to life be determined by its gender or its mother’s reason for abortion.

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