By Dave Andrusko
For that tiny sliver of the population which believes there are never enough abortions and never a reason to stop any abortion, no matter how flimsy the grounds, it’s to be expected they could blow a fuse when states pass laws banning the practice of aborting children because they are females, aka sex-selection abortions.
They celebrate abortion as a positive good for women. If there is the slightest recognition that there is someone whose existence is being extinguished in the process, we’re told it’s for their own good, or, too bad. “Reasons” for an abortion are, literally, irrelevant.
As we have documented countless times, a majority of the public opposes the reasons almost all abortions are performed. Specifically, with regards to sex-selection abortions (which are almost always performed on baby girls), polls in the United States (77%) and the United Kingdom (80%) have shown massive resistance.
I mention this background information as a preface to thinking about a story that surprisingly appeared (surprising to me, at least) in The Atlantic. Written by Emma Green, the headline is, “Should Women Be Able to Abort a Fetus Just Because It’s Female?”
Green, described as “a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion,” is more fair-minded than anyone I have read in the “mainstream” media. The article is must-reading, so let me summarize only some of the fascinating observations Green makes.
Referring to a law recently passed in Indiana, Green observes
But whether they intended to or not, these lawmakers exposed a set of difficult moral questions that pro-choice progressives tend to ignore in their quest to defend legal abortion. Should couples be able to abort their female fetuses—and it’s almost always female fetuses—in the hopes of having the boy they really wanted? Should a mom, ashamed at having a mixed-race baby, be able to abort because of race? Should parents give up on a baby with Down syndrome? What about Tay-Sachs, which almost always kills children by the time they turn four?
To that tiny sliver I mentioned in the first sentence, this just proves their paranoid point: allow the nose of the pro-life camel under the tent, and there will be bills banning aborting for other categories of unborn babies besides girls.
To the rest of us, it raises questions that Roe v. Wade and its progeny have done their best to suppress. Putting aside the pro-life view that no one should ever be able to abort a child except in that rare, rare case where the mother’s life is at risk, who thinks it is justified to abort a child for these reasons ? The wrong sex? The wrong color? The wrong chromosomal count?
Green quotes Jane Henegar, the head of the ACLU of Indiana, who argues the reasons put forth to ban sex-selective abortions are “red herrings,” adding, “It’s a tension that has been manufactured. It doesn’t really exist.”
To her credit, Green immediately writes
But in some places, the tension seems very real. While it’s difficult to track sex-selective abortions in the United States, for example, in countries like India and China where sex-selective abortion is widespread, the ratio of male-to-female births is significantly skewed and has changed demographics over time.
Green is honest enough to acknowledge the truth that sex-selective abortions do take place–and have migrated out of places such as India and China to begin to take hold in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (See Sex-Selective abortion in New York: an open secret”)
As I mentioned above, there are mounds of important considerations in Green’s piece (such as the tensions within the disability rights community), but let me mention just one more. Green writes
Right now, Indiana is one of only two states that prohibit abortions based on fetal abnormalities, according to the Guttmacher Institute (North Dakota is the other) and one of eight that prohibit abortions based on sex (along with Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and, again, North Dakota). At least eight other states have recently introduced bills that would prohibit sex-selective abortions, according to Guttmacher, and at least six may ban abortions based on fetal abnormalities. Indiana is the only state that has enacted a prohibition against abortions based on race, although a new Illinois bill considers it.
These prohibitions come with a certain irony: The ACLU, for example, spends enormous resources fighting exactly the kind of discrimination these bills address, especially that which penalizes women, racial minorities, and people with disabilities. But because United States law doesn’t see fetuses as people, the organization doesn’t see a need to protect them from discrimination.
What a cowardly evasion. The ACLU works assiduously on the behalf of marginalized people and groups and then avert its gaze from “fetuses” because they’re not really “people.”
Sex-selection abortions are an Achilles heel for the Abortion Industry. Grown women killing little women because they are women is so inherently contradictory it is only a matter of time before bills like Indiana’s will succeed in more and more states.