By Dave Andrusko
Last week we ran two stories about an important hearing held Wednesday by the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on the topic of “India’s missing girls.” (See “India’s Missing Girls” and “Planned Parenthood and Population Council’s War on the Girl child Exposed at Congressional Human Rights Hearing on India’s Missing Girls.”)
This is one of the knottiest issues for pro-abortionists to finesse. How can anyone—especially a self-described “feminist”—not call for action when largely because of sex-selection abortion there were 37 million more men than women, according to India’s 2011 census. When in parts of India, 126 boys are born for every 100 girls? When there are only 832 girls for every 1,000 boys in the state of Haryana?
A piece by Mallika Dutt gives you a taste of how pro-abortionists can be outraged by what is correctly called “gendercide” but more outraged that the scandalous use of ultrasound might lead people to consider doing something meaningful when unborn babies are killed because—and only because—they are girls.
Dutt tells us a congressional hearing on this hideous practice ought to cause for celebration. “If only,” she writes. Here’s her straw man:
“The truth is that the people shaking their fists the hardest about the issue are actually those who are most hostile to women’s rights. Anti-abortion advocates have seized upon and rebuilt the issue as a Trojan horse for their own agenda. What they’re really trying to do? ’Protect’ women’s rights by denying women rights.”
A few points in rebuttal.
Pro-life opponents of gendercide have not “rebuilt” anything. Babies are being killed by the hundreds of millions worldwide BECAUSE they are girls. Like all pro-abortionists, Dutt implies that we should never do anything to limit abortion for any reason—including gender—because of the slippery slope (i.e., the end of legal abortion). The obvious answer to that is that the only “agenda” being advanced is the preservation of unconditional abortion and that there is a strong majority opposed to sex-selection abortion.
Of course, the motives of opponents of gendercide, like those who testified September 10, must be impugned. Referring to “some others,” Dutt writes, “like those I debated at the hearing, ” we’re told that “it’s only when abortion enters the equation…that they get interested in ‘saving’ girls and women.” What a smear, what an ad hominem argument, what an evasion of what is going on not just in India but worldwide–the slaughter of unborn babies because they are female.
How else can pro-abortion “feminists” like Dutt criticize the campaign to eliminate sex-selection abortion? We’re told that “only five percent of abortions in India are connected to GBSS [gender-biased sex selection].”
Does it even make any sense to point to a document [a product of organizations steeped in abortion advocacy] and pretend that it reflects an accurate number when sex-selection abortions are against the law in India? When, as Dutt admits, “We also need more reliable data to better measure the extent of sex-selection practices and progress made toward challenging them.” When 5%, even if were remotely accurate, is a huge number in a country as large as India? When, as Dutt tells us, “GBSS is a cultural practice driven precisely by devaluing and discrimination of women.”
The other canard is to compare the “only 5%” figure with the deaths of women from “complications of unsafe abortion, which supposedly is much larger. But as NRL News Today has reported many times, this is simply not true.
“Women face numerous risks with abortion, legal or illegal, and those risks are substantially greater in the developing world,” Jeanne Head, R.N., National Right to Life vice-president for international affairs and U.N. representative, has said. “Yet some in the international community have focused their resources primarily on legalizing abortion at the expense of women’s lives and health.”
Ms. Head added, “The incidence of maternal mortality is mainly determined by the quality of maternal health care. Legalization does not improve outcomes, but only increases the number of women subjected to the risks of abortion.” (See “Women suffer in multiple ways from abortion, reveals new analysis of research”)
Pro-abortion feminists like Dutt want to change the entire cultural fabric which leads to the devaluation of women, which is an absolutely admirable and desirable goal. But to use that goal (which will not likely be the reality for many decades, if ever) as an alternative to combating sex-selection abortion itself is a recipe for inaction and the deaths of hundreds of millions more unborn baby girls.