The Ultimate in Gender Discrimination
I sat today watching the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings, waiting and watching for the inevitable question on abortion. It was never specifically mentioned in the testimony I heard, though Senator Joseph Biden did site one abortion case. The anti-Alito ads are running strong here in Little Rock, which is surprising to me, but not totally unexpected.
I tend to remain non-confrontational on a lot of issues here, simply because this is more a forum for family, friends, and curious on-lookers to learn about the goings-on in my daily life. But today, Yahoo! News ran this story that points out a disturbing and growing trend in India. I had heard rumor of this happening in China and some other countries as well where male children are prized over female children. In the case of China, the "one child" rule makes this even more horrific, with some families actually killing daughters after they are born. In India, what is taking place is selective abortion.
"We conservatively estimate that prenatal sex determination and selective abortion accounts for 0.5 million missing girls yearly," said Prabhat Jha of St. Michael's Hospital at the University of Toronto, Canada, on Monday.
What this means is, if a couple has a son first, then a daughter, then the birth ratio of male to female is normal. But, if a daughter is born first, the birth ratio is off by 500,000 yearly. Meaning, over the past 20 years, thanks to pre-natal gender-identification, Indian parents have intentionally terminated TEN MILLION unborn simply because they are female.
I believe that even the vast majority of those who are pro-abortion would find this disturbing. Even those who think abortion for reason of genetic defect is acceptable can't say that being female is a genetic defect.
But what can be done? If both prenatal gender identification and totally unrestricted abortion remain legal in India, then nothing can be legally done to prevent this practice. Where does this end? If through some technology it can be determined how tall your son will be, will parents continue to abort male children until they have a potential NBA prospect? Will parents abort until their child has the right hair and eye color?
The solution could be quite complicated, or it could be simple. Abortion, like any other medical procedure, should be deemed medically necessary before taking place. This of course leaves it up to interpretation of the medical professional involved. The simple solution would be to recognize the unborn child as a human life, and therefore afford that life the respect and dignity he/she deserves.
Then again, this world has a long way to go in affording any human life the respect and dignity we deserve.
As for me and my house...