Aborting girls

In many countries–especially China and other Asian nations–the preference for a boy baby is so strong that girls are routinely aborted.  But this is happening in the United States also!  The births among Asian-American populations are also heavily skewed to having more boys than girls.  Arizona has passed a law forbidding abortion for gender selection.

Why aren’t feminists supporting laws like this?

Arizona and the War on Baby Girls » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Smart money would be to have girls – their stock price should go up as demand will exceed supply. And what do you do with all the excess boys who will become men looking for wives? Then again, a few wars could do the trick …

  • SKPeterson

    Smart money would be to have girls – their stock price should go up as demand will exceed supply. And what do you do with all the excess boys who will become men looking for wives? Then again, a few wars could do the trick …

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I really don’t think this bill is more than a moral victory, I don’t think it is actually going to have any affect in stemming the number of abortions. On the other hand, if it stands up in the courts, it could play a role getting us closer to outlawing abortion in general. I pray that day comes sooner.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I really don’t think this bill is more than a moral victory, I don’t think it is actually going to have any affect in stemming the number of abortions. On the other hand, if it stands up in the courts, it could play a role getting us closer to outlawing abortion in general. I pray that day comes sooner.

  • Kimberly

    The feminists can’t support the law because it conflicts with a woman’s “choice”, even if denying that choice might kill a future feminist. It’s a no-win situation.

  • Kimberly

    The feminists can’t support the law because it conflicts with a woman’s “choice”, even if denying that choice might kill a future feminist. It’s a no-win situation.

  • DonS

    Martin @ 4: How do you know that “no woman in AZ has chosen to have an abortion based on the sex or race of her child”? Is there data to support such a blanket statement?

    The reason why these laws get passed is because they are the only way to constrain the murder of babies, given the Supreme Court’s determination in 1973 to declare such murder to be a fundamental Constitutional right. Such laws serve two purposes — one is to hopefully prevent at least a few such murders, and the second is to keep the issue at the forefront of the public’s mind, and to show the public how evil and total this policy of abortion on demand is, and how unreasonable are its supporters.

    And the idea that if the government doesn’t continue to run itself into the ground with unaffordable entitlement costs then pregnant women will be denied “adequate and affordable prenatal care” is to utterly ignore, probably for political reasons, the many private sector options there are for receiving such care.

  • DonS

    Martin @ 4: How do you know that “no woman in AZ has chosen to have an abortion based on the sex or race of her child”? Is there data to support such a blanket statement?

    The reason why these laws get passed is because they are the only way to constrain the murder of babies, given the Supreme Court’s determination in 1973 to declare such murder to be a fundamental Constitutional right. Such laws serve two purposes — one is to hopefully prevent at least a few such murders, and the second is to keep the issue at the forefront of the public’s mind, and to show the public how evil and total this policy of abortion on demand is, and how unreasonable are its supporters.

    And the idea that if the government doesn’t continue to run itself into the ground with unaffordable entitlement costs then pregnant women will be denied “adequate and affordable prenatal care” is to utterly ignore, probably for political reasons, the many private sector options there are for receiving such care.

  • DonS

    Martin, there is a world of difference from stating that there is “no evidence that AZ women seek abortion on these grounds”, and stating, as you did before, that “no woman in AZ has chosen to have an abortion based on the sex or race of her child”. I trust that you can see the distinction. Although there may be no evidence, it is highly likely that at least one woman has aborted her child because of its sex, making your statement definitively false.

    By “private sector options” I didn’t mean for profit companies. I meant the myriad of charitable pro-life organizations which are available and more than willing to meet the pre-natal needs of poor pregnant women.

  • DonS

    Martin, there is a world of difference from stating that there is “no evidence that AZ women seek abortion on these grounds”, and stating, as you did before, that “no woman in AZ has chosen to have an abortion based on the sex or race of her child”. I trust that you can see the distinction. Although there may be no evidence, it is highly likely that at least one woman has aborted her child because of its sex, making your statement definitively false.

    By “private sector options” I didn’t mean for profit companies. I meant the myriad of charitable pro-life organizations which are available and more than willing to meet the pre-natal needs of poor pregnant women.

  • DonS

    Martin, I did not say that I agreed there was no evidence. I have not investigated the matter. I was merely challenging your misstatement.

  • DonS

    Martin, I did not say that I agreed there was no evidence. I have not investigated the matter. I was merely challenging your misstatement.

  • DonS

    Martin: You missed my point. I didn’t concede because I didn’t investigate the matter. Given your obvious bias, I have no reason to believe that you have accurately represented what the bill’s supporters said. Particularly since you seem predisposed to misrepresentation. And such misrepresentation includes what you just said about my point @ 7.

  • DonS

    Martin: You missed my point. I didn’t concede because I didn’t investigate the matter. Given your obvious bias, I have no reason to believe that you have accurately represented what the bill’s supporters said. Particularly since you seem predisposed to misrepresentation. And such misrepresentation includes what you just said about my point @ 7.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@7), on what basis would you make the claim that “it is highly likely that at least one woman has aborted her child because of its sex”? As you asked Martin (@5), “Is there data to support such a blanket statement?”

    In the absence of evidence, it seems that we simply don’t know either way.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@7), on what basis would you make the claim that “it is highly likely that at least one woman has aborted her child because of its sex”? As you asked Martin (@5), “Is there data to support such a blanket statement?”

    In the absence of evidence, it seems that we simply don’t know either way.

  • DonS

    So, tODD, is it a “blanket statement” to say that it is likely there was one instance? I don’t have evidence, but I am speculating that, with all the abortions in AZ it is highly likely there was at least one that was at least partially undertaken because the woman didn’t want a girl, or a boy. I was merely challenging his blanket statement that he knows, definitively, that there were absolutely NONE.

    And I agree with your statement that, in the absence of evidence WE KNOW OF, it seems that we don’t know either way. Despite what Martin says.

  • DonS

    So, tODD, is it a “blanket statement” to say that it is likely there was one instance? I don’t have evidence, but I am speculating that, with all the abortions in AZ it is highly likely there was at least one that was at least partially undertaken because the woman didn’t want a girl, or a boy. I was merely challenging his blanket statement that he knows, definitively, that there were absolutely NONE.

    And I agree with your statement that, in the absence of evidence WE KNOW OF, it seems that we don’t know either way. Despite what Martin says.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@13), you can’t have it both ways.

    You can’t challenge a statement that there were “absolutely NONE” because someone lacks evidence and then turn around and, through nothing more than pure speculation, assert that “it is highly likely there was at least one”. Sorry.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@13), you can’t have it both ways.

    You can’t challenge a statement that there were “absolutely NONE” because someone lacks evidence and then turn around and, through nothing more than pure speculation, assert that “it is highly likely there was at least one”. Sorry.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 14 — I’m not trying to “have it both ways”. Sorry, tODD. All I was doing was pointing out to Martin how silly his original statement, that the evidence showed absolutely no instances of gender selection abortions, was. I was NOT saying that there were any, just that, in a sample the size of all Arizona abortions, the likelihood is with, not against, there being at least one such abortion, and that there is no way that there could ever be evidence that there weren’t ANY at all.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 14 — I’m not trying to “have it both ways”. Sorry, tODD. All I was doing was pointing out to Martin how silly his original statement, that the evidence showed absolutely no instances of gender selection abortions, was. I was NOT saying that there were any, just that, in a sample the size of all Arizona abortions, the likelihood is with, not against, there being at least one such abortion, and that there is no way that there could ever be evidence that there weren’t ANY at all.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@15), even as you continue to decry Martin for lacking evidence, you continue to offer none for your utter guesswork. That’s having it both ways.

    Unless you have actual knowledge of what the rate of incidence is (and you have done no work in communicating that), then pointing to the large sample size that is Arizona will not magically make your guesses come true, or even “highly likely”.

    If that sort of “analysis” worked, then I could make any claim that I wanted about the population of Arizona. Why, it’s highly likely that there’s someone named Soiosidfj Eoijlskdj in Arizona! Presto!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@15), even as you continue to decry Martin for lacking evidence, you continue to offer none for your utter guesswork. That’s having it both ways.

    Unless you have actual knowledge of what the rate of incidence is (and you have done no work in communicating that), then pointing to the large sample size that is Arizona will not magically make your guesses come true, or even “highly likely”.

    If that sort of “analysis” worked, then I could make any claim that I wanted about the population of Arizona. Why, it’s highly likely that there’s someone named Soiosidfj Eoijlskdj in Arizona! Presto!

  • DonS

    tODD @ 16: What are you talking about? The issue is Martin’s blanket and ludicrous statement that “no woman in AZ has chosen to have an abortion based on the sex or race of her child”.

    My rebuttal was that his statement was utterly without evidence, and, in fact, could never be supported, because it is impossible, through survey evidence, to definitively state that something NEVER happens.

    My opinion that it is highly likely that at least one woman in AZ has had an abortion for the purpose of gender selection is based on the fact that gender selection abortions exist in substantial numbers in the world, and that, in a large enough sample size, it is statistically likely that at least one will occur. I stated my opinion for the purpose of clarification as to the ridiculous nature of his assertion only.

    If that sort of “analysis” worked, then I could make any claim that I wanted about the population of Arizona. Why, it’s highly likely that there’s someone named Soiosidfj Eoijlskdj in Arizona! Presto!

    And if I am so out of line as to definitively declare, without a shred of evidence, that there is not one person in AZ named Soiosidfj Eoijlskdj, then your assertion might be an appropriate rebuttal, though I would change the “highly likely” to “possible” if I were you, given the lack of evidence worldwide of the incidence of that name (if indeed you have none). Because that is how your example differs from the case of gender selection abortions. We know definitively that they do occur in the world.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 16: What are you talking about? The issue is Martin’s blanket and ludicrous statement that “no woman in AZ has chosen to have an abortion based on the sex or race of her child”.

    My rebuttal was that his statement was utterly without evidence, and, in fact, could never be supported, because it is impossible, through survey evidence, to definitively state that something NEVER happens.

    My opinion that it is highly likely that at least one woman in AZ has had an abortion for the purpose of gender selection is based on the fact that gender selection abortions exist in substantial numbers in the world, and that, in a large enough sample size, it is statistically likely that at least one will occur. I stated my opinion for the purpose of clarification as to the ridiculous nature of his assertion only.

    If that sort of “analysis” worked, then I could make any claim that I wanted about the population of Arizona. Why, it’s highly likely that there’s someone named Soiosidfj Eoijlskdj in Arizona! Presto!

    And if I am so out of line as to definitively declare, without a shred of evidence, that there is not one person in AZ named Soiosidfj Eoijlskdj, then your assertion might be an appropriate rebuttal, though I would change the “highly likely” to “possible” if I were you, given the lack of evidence worldwide of the incidence of that name (if indeed you have none). Because that is how your example differs from the case of gender selection abortions. We know definitively that they do occur in the world.

  • helen

    What I’d like to know is if DonS contributes to those “private sector options” (by which he says he means charities) which help poor women with pre natal care/to avoid abortion.
    If you are going to leave it to the “private sector” you’d better put your charitable money where your mouth is.

  • helen

    What I’d like to know is if DonS contributes to those “private sector options” (by which he says he means charities) which help poor women with pre natal care/to avoid abortion.
    If you are going to leave it to the “private sector” you’d better put your charitable money where your mouth is.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Helen (@18), DonS can answer more accurately for himself, but given that he hasn’t yet replied, I will say that, on past threads here involving abortion, I think he has mentioned his involvement with his local crisis pregnancy center. I don’t know more than that, but I’d suggest that your potential criticism of him here may not stick.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Helen (@18), DonS can answer more accurately for himself, but given that he hasn’t yet replied, I will say that, on past threads here involving abortion, I think he has mentioned his involvement with his local crisis pregnancy center. I don’t know more than that, but I’d suggest that your potential criticism of him here may not stick.

  • DonS

    Helen @ 18: I would prefer not to make it about me, and whatever small contribution I may or may not make to this effort or anything else. Thank you, tODD, for your comment @ 19, so I will at least say that I and members of my family contribute money and time to local women’s shelters and clinics which minister to those in crisis pregnancy or domestic violence situations. If you have the opportunity to do so as well, please do. You will be blessed beyond measure, both by having the opportunity to minister to families in deep need, and to perhaps save lives.

    I am not one to say that there is no place for government assistance for those who are in true need, particularly women and children. But, the fact of the matter is that most governments have spent well beyond their means, and are unable to continue doing so. Levels of public debt and already high tax rates mean that severe budget cuts are inevitable. I was just trying to explain to Martin that acknowledging this fact, and cutting unaffordable government programs, does not mean that care will be lacking for these needy women and children. The pro-life support community is amazing, filled with dedicated volunteers who are a joy to be around and who live out what they preach.

    The bottom line is that government is not a very good friend to those who have pro-life views. The public assistance community for pregnant unwed and poor women is stacked in favor of abortion options because of the influence of abortion providers, who make a lot of money from these procedures, and the hard core feminist community which is committed to maintaining abortion as a constitutional right. Additionally, public assistance is highly inefficient, compared to most charitable organizations, meaning a far lower percentage of program dollars are actually paid out in benefits. Many public assistance programs pay out less than half of total costs as benefits, whereas good private charities are at 80% or higher.

  • DonS

    Helen @ 18: I would prefer not to make it about me, and whatever small contribution I may or may not make to this effort or anything else. Thank you, tODD, for your comment @ 19, so I will at least say that I and members of my family contribute money and time to local women’s shelters and clinics which minister to those in crisis pregnancy or domestic violence situations. If you have the opportunity to do so as well, please do. You will be blessed beyond measure, both by having the opportunity to minister to families in deep need, and to perhaps save lives.

    I am not one to say that there is no place for government assistance for those who are in true need, particularly women and children. But, the fact of the matter is that most governments have spent well beyond their means, and are unable to continue doing so. Levels of public debt and already high tax rates mean that severe budget cuts are inevitable. I was just trying to explain to Martin that acknowledging this fact, and cutting unaffordable government programs, does not mean that care will be lacking for these needy women and children. The pro-life support community is amazing, filled with dedicated volunteers who are a joy to be around and who live out what they preach.

    The bottom line is that government is not a very good friend to those who have pro-life views. The public assistance community for pregnant unwed and poor women is stacked in favor of abortion options because of the influence of abortion providers, who make a lot of money from these procedures, and the hard core feminist community which is committed to maintaining abortion as a constitutional right. Additionally, public assistance is highly inefficient, compared to most charitable organizations, meaning a far lower percentage of program dollars are actually paid out in benefits. Many public assistance programs pay out less than half of total costs as benefits, whereas good private charities are at 80% or higher.

  • Matthew Surburg

    It is worth noting that many physician offices which offer obstetrical services will accept payment on a sliding scale based upon ability to pay for those women who fall through the cracks of the Medicaid system – at least, here in Indiana. (That was what I did until I stopped delivering last fall.) Nurse midwives also present cost-effective options. Hospitals also routinely do the same, and write off some or all costs of care provided for low-income patients.

  • Matthew Surburg

    It is worth noting that many physician offices which offer obstetrical services will accept payment on a sliding scale based upon ability to pay for those women who fall through the cracks of the Medicaid system – at least, here in Indiana. (That was what I did until I stopped delivering last fall.) Nurse midwives also present cost-effective options. Hospitals also routinely do the same, and write off some or all costs of care provided for low-income patients.

  • steve

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2834384/

    “Using the 1989–2001 Natality Detail Files and 1988 NMIHS, which provide information on live births in the United States, we estimate the effect of gender preference on prenatal health investments. We begin by examining sex ratios among Indian and Chinese immigrants and provide evidence consistent with findings in the literature that the practice of sex-selective abortion exists among these immigrant groups.”

  • steve

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2834384/

    “Using the 1989–2001 Natality Detail Files and 1988 NMIHS, which provide information on live births in the United States, we estimate the effect of gender preference on prenatal health investments. We begin by examining sex ratios among Indian and Chinese immigrants and provide evidence consistent with findings in the literature that the practice of sex-selective abortion exists among these immigrant groups.”

  • steve

    I think it’s fair to say sex-selective abortion occurs in the United States. I also think its fair to say that if there’s any abortion that a majority of people can agree should be outlawed, it makes sense to go after that form of abortion. It seems silly to have to say, but taking a human life should be made very difficult.

  • steve

    I think it’s fair to say sex-selective abortion occurs in the United States. I also think its fair to say that if there’s any abortion that a majority of people can agree should be outlawed, it makes sense to go after that form of abortion. It seems silly to have to say, but taking a human life should be made very difficult.

  • steve

    To answer the original question, I don’t know for certain. This seems as counter-productive as it does to think liberalizing women’s sexuality will lead to less objectification of women.

  • steve

    To answer the original question, I don’t know for certain. This seems as counter-productive as it does to think liberalizing women’s sexuality will lead to less objectification of women.