Analysis

Liberal study claims sex-selection abortion bans are unnecessary; argument is full of holes

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Three organizations recently joined forces to produce a strange study that concludes that international sex-selection abortion and male child bias are issues that are exaggerated by pro-life groups in order to restrict access to abortion.

The “study,” conducted by the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, the National Asian-Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), analyzes birth rate statistics and uses them to downplay the injustice of abortion based on sex. Furthermore, the study uses these numbers to suggest that sex-selection abortion is really a non-issue created by pro-lifers to advance an anti-abortion agenda.

The study, entitled Replacing Myths with Facts: Sex-Selective Abortion in the United Statespresents six supposed myths about sex-selection and male child preference, and provides a counter argument to each. The “myths” and corresponding “facts” are the following:

1. The study claims that higher male sex ratios at birth are non-indicative of sex-selection abortions since these ratios can be achieved by implanting male embryos in the uterus.

Pro-lifers do not deny that sex-selective technologies also contribute to male-dominant ratios at birth. In fact, most pro-lifers take issue with these technologies since they require discarding existing female embryos in favor of male embryos. This is effectively an abortion and falls into the same problematic category as sex-selective abortion post-implantation.

2. Secondly the study claims that, because male-biased sex ratios at birth can be found in many countries, the spotlight on India’s and China’s cultural male preference are non-issues.

Despite the fact that abortion advocates would like to label the statement of fact as “racist” when it suits their agenda to do so, the pro-life assertion that anti-female discrimination in the countries of China and India stands out among other countries remains in-line with actual fact. These two countries are, arguably, paradigmatic of the most misogynistic, anti-woman sentiment that exists on the planet. Feminists from these countries, who are unaffiliated with the pro-life movement as such, attest publicly to this fact.

3. The study then claims that the US trend of banning sex-selection abortions makes the US somewhat of an anomaly since only three other countries explicitly ban sex-selection abortion.

The US has also pioneered other women’s rights causes such as suffrage, equal pay, and the right to own property. Adding the right to life for women to that list is another of the many ways that the United States is decades ahead of much of the planet, which is still being governed by anti-woman, paternalistic governments.

4. Next the study says that the logical conclusion that banning sex-selective abortion will adjust male-biased sex ratios is invalid because of the study’s analysis of statistics both before and after sex-selection abortion bans were enacted in two states in the US.

The study fails to look further than two US states for data, and these are Illinois and Pennsylvania, where numbers from five years prior-to and following the enactment of sex-selective abortion bans were analyzed. Because there was little change in the ratios of male-to-female births in those two states after five years, the study concludes that sex-selective abortion bans are unnecessary. But why, if these abortion advocates really care about women’s rights, would they oppose a preventative measure even if it didn’t have a significant impact on birth ratios? Especially given the fact that they acknowledge the existence of wildly skewed numbers in favor of male babies elsewhere?

5. Fifth, the study states that foreign-born Chinese, Indians, and Koreans in the United States give birth to more girls than white Americans, which somehow negates the necessity of protecting pre-born children from the possibility of being aborted because of their sex (something that appears to be a common occurrence in the US).

The fact that sex-selection and male bias occurs in the world should be reason enough to take minimum preventive measures in the United States. Why so-called feminist groups are lobbying against pro-woman legislation is clear: it is to preserve an ideological agenda committed to unfettered access to abortion on-demand.

Who is really looking out for women’s rights: the group that is willing to rescind the fundamental right to life from pre-born women for the sake of keeping abortion as unrestricted as possible, or the group that works to ensure that pre-born females do not even face the possibility of being aborted based on their sex in the United States?

6. Finally, the study accuses pro-lifers of concealing their true motive behind sex-selection abortion bans. It claims that pro-life advocates say they want to prevent gender discrimination when in reality they want to restrict all abortion access.

Pro-lifers obviously do want to restrict all abortion, since it is an inhumane and unjust act. Most pro-lifers will unapologetically relay this fact to inquiring parties. However, the impetus behind sex-selection abortion bans is the feminist belief that men and women are equal, and as such, it is also an injustice and inhumane act to kill a woman based on her sex. The right to life and the right to sexual equality are not, contrary to this study’s assertion, mutually exclusive goals.

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