Women’s history month was instituted to celebrate the important role women have had in building history. This month celebrates women who have made famous impacts in fighting for justice and equality like Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman, as well as the many unrecognized efforts of women throughout history whose names are unknown.
During this month, we cannot forget the group of women who have been by far the most unrecognized and undervalued in all of history: the nearly 30 million women in America whose lives were taken from them in the womb since 1973.
Many speak about abortion as if it liberates women. In reality, abortion is a tool for discriminating against women. According to one estimate, more than 160 million women around the globe were denied the chance to impact the world because of sex-selection abortions and infanticides in recent decades.
Women’s organizations should be outraged; it’s alarmingly unjust that tens of millions of women’s lives ended simply because they were female instead of male.
Several cultures have strong social or economic forces that lead to a preference for having sons rather than daughters. Some of these cultures have strict population control policies that encourage or even coerce parents to limit the number of children they have (for example, China’s two-child policy). This leads to birth rates in many countries being higher for boys than for girls as families strive to make sure that first or second child is a boy. China’s 2005 census data showed a sex-ratio at birth of 1.18 boys for every 1 girl.
India’s 2011 census showed a ratio of 1.09 boys for every 1 girl aged 0-6. The problem has become so stark it’s a crime in India to use an ultrasound to learn the sex of your unborn child.
Abortion makes it easy for parents to pick and choose which lives are worth keeping; in many millions of cases the lives of females are not the ones chosen to keep alive.
Sadly this is not a new issue, and for many years before abortion became widely available, baby girls would often be tragically left to die by many parents who felt they needed a boy instead. This still occurs in some countries today with alarming regularity. Some may see that as more horrifying than having an abortion, but both options end the child’s life.
In recent weeks, many U.S. politicians including 44 U.S. Senators have sent the message that they too see no difference in ending a child’s life before or after birth. If the child is unwanted by the birth parents and targeted for abortion—as is the case for many millions of baby girls around the world— they see no problem with infanticide through neglect if the abortion happens to fail and results in a live birth.
So many politicians, celebrities, and, of course, Planned Parenthood, widely praise abortion as the foundation of women’s rights. But by doing so they ignore the stories of hundreds of millions of women who were denied the most basic right to life. Abortion is a tool used over and over for discrimination and targeting of vulnerable lives deemed “unwanted.”
So much more women’s history would be made if we simply valued the life of every little girl.