Editor’s note. This appeared in May, but I just ran across it. I think it’s obviously still very timely. It ran at bioedge.org
I just stumbled across an interesting debate in Canada over sex-selective abortion. A British Columbian MP is campaigning against it because it leads to gendercide. “Female gendercide is the systematic killing of women and girls, just because they’re girls,” says Mark Warawa. “The UN says that over two hundred million girls are missing in the world right now because of the female genocide.”
Apparently sex-selective abortion is increasing in Canada with immigration from India and China. Warawa’s is an entirely praiseworthy campaign which ought to attract bipartisan support.
Colby Cosh, a columnist for Maclean’s, is scathing in his criticism of Warawa. In an op-ed headed “Lord, send pesticide for the weed of ‘gendercide’”, he argues that if women are allowed to abort children for any reason whatsoever, why not a child’s sex? “Can we respect those choices (as we ought to) yet not respect the choice of a woman who doesn’t want to risk spending the next 20 years of her life raising” children of the “wrong” sex? “’Gendercide’ is incoherent religious militancy in cheap drag,” he sneers.
What Cosh – and the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper – don’t like about Warawa’s campaign is that its ultimate target is abortion. This is such an inflammatory subject that Harper does not want it even mentioned in Parliament. But despite Cosh’s ridicule, Warawa’s logic is irrefutable: you cannot say that you both oppose gendercide and support the procedure which makes it possible.
I suggest that the honest thing for Prime Minister Harper to do is to tell his Parliament: “look, one missing girl is a genuine tragedy; 200 million missing girls is just another bogus UN statistic; it’s no big deal. Look on the positive side: 200 million missing girls means 200 million women who made a courageous choice. Grow up. Get over it. Move on.”
Any other speeches he could make?