Recently Live Action reported the UK Parliament passed a bill confirming sex-selection abortion is illegal in the UK.
I posted this all up on Facebook. Because that’s what I do.
And it wasn’t too long before a couple of guys, one of whom is a good friend I respect immensely, started questioning whether or not this bill was a good thing.
His argument was, more or less, that the bill is illogical in that it declares abortion for one arbitrary reason wrong, while ignoring all the others. In other words, it’s not really logical to say,”It’s fine to kill your baby for all of these reasons, but not for that one. That one is wrong.”
That one, in this instance, is the gender of the baby. And as we all know, when it comes to sex-selection abortion, we’re referring almost without exception to the slaughter of females. So this law presupposes a female baby will be killed.
Are we sending the wrong message here? Are we saying misogyny is a worse crime than feticide?
I don’t blame my friend for being a little miffed by the idea that this law needs to exist.
But here’s the thing: it does need to exist.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an organization at the forefront of the fight against gendercide in China, has a point when she says sex-selection is not “just another reason” for abortion. “There is a strong correlation between gendercide and forced abortion,” she said.
She added that in India and China, “women pregnant with girls face pressure from threat of abandonment to domestic violence and even death if they refuse to abort. Women from cultures with a strong son preference need protection from those who would force these women to abort their daughters. The law in the UK attempts to do that.”
She added: “It is a woman’s right to give birth to her daughter.”
So laws against sex-selection abortion are not tantamount to picking a reason for abortion at random and declaring it unacceptable. All abortions are heinous, yes. But sex-selection abortion in particular is often linked to forced abortion, coercion, and violence against the woman in question.
Not to mention the sheer numbers involved. The UN estimates there are over 200 million females missing from the world due to gendercide.
In China, there are 13 million abortions a year – thirteen times more than in the U.S. That’s 1,500 an hour. Many of these abortions are forced, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Many others are coerced. And most of the babies killed by abortion – not to mention the majority of those abandoned or killed after birth – are female. Not surprisingly, China has the highest female suicide rate in the world, at about 500 a day.
The abnormally high ratio of men to women in China has created unexpected problems. “Bachelor villages” consist of poor men who have found no wives because the precious few women were all able to “marry up.” Families wanting to ensure future wives for their sons kidnap girls and raise them, in a bizarre form of “bride insurance.” Sex trafficking has become a serious problem and a threat to the safety of Chinese women and girls.
In India, a technically illegal but widely practiced dowry culture has resulted in rampant abortion, abandonment, and infanticide of baby girls, not to mention a galloping under-the-table trade in (also technically illegal) sex-determination ultrasounds. Women are encouraged – which is a nice way of saying coerced or forced – to abort if they’re carrying girls. Sometimes they’re injured or killed if they refuse.
Sex-selection abortion is not the problem in the UK that it is in China and India. But in Chinese and Indian immigrant communities particularly, where we often see multiculturalism rather than assimilation, son-preference cultures often simply persist.
A wise woman told me the pro-life movement is “a chorus of voices.” We’re not all singing with the same voice. How boring would that be? But we can all sing our separate notes, and create harmony.
This movement is made up of counselors who stand on sidewalks and minister to women entering clinics; feminists who remind women of the original intent of those who sought to liberate women; women who tackle the issues surrounding and leading to abortion by focusing on pro-life feminism; technicians who provide mobile sonograms outside abortion clinics; counselors who help post-abortive women find healing; post-abortive women who reach out to other at-risk women; caring people who run pregnancy centers to furnish resources for mothers in crisis; artists who make pro-life films and other works of art, and – of course – activists whose focus is on abortion as it relates to gendercide.
(Oh, and organizations that expose the industry as criminal and corrupt. By which I mean Live Action. In other words: you’re soaking in it.)
We aren’t at odds. We are a chorus. We all have a common goal of ending abortion. But there are as many possible approaches to achieving that goal as there are people in the movement. As a chorus, we should rejoice when a bill like this passes, because it will save lives. And isn’t that, after all, the point of what we’re doing?
Ending gendercide is a valid and even necessary step towards ending abortion. Sex-selection is a major factor in millions of abortions, and stopping it – in the East and everywhere – will save countless lives.
As Reggie Littlejohn says, “It is a woman’s right to give birth to her daughter.”
If you feel called to act against gendercide, but you’re not sure how, the Save A Girl Campaign is an excellent way to tangibly help actual women fleeing forced abortion and struggling to keep their baby girls in China.
Consider sharing news and information about the staggering loss of human life due to gendercide on social media, since most Americans are ignorant of this issue.
There are over 200 million lives missing from the world due to gendercide. As pro-lifers, we should be eager to join the fight against this misogynistic mass murder.